George Marciano wrote of the event a few days afterward, in a letter to the Editor of the Danbury News Times dated 6/26, 2007:
"In the greater Danbury area, only 40 Americans gathered to
remember and pray for our fellow American victims. Is Danbury
a town without pity for American victims?
No other clergy from our numerous churches had an hour to spare
for this worthy cause. No one who marched last year for illegal aliens'
rights showed up. No one from Stop the Raids was there. Father Pitya
(article, June 21) is looking for a chance "to talk," but he never showed
up to hear our side."
The letter was printed and put in a nicely outlined box, with a political cartoon attached to it.
These two responses, one from a Stop the Raids member, and another from another concerned local resident, demonstrate the exact reason why members of the interfaith community, Stop the Raids, and Local Community were not present at the sham "vigil" that was held that day.
Anti-immigrant group not really spiritual
Jul 01 2007 Gregory Marciano (letter, June 26) is angry with members of the interfaith community for not attending the "prayer" vigil held by his anti-immigrant group on June 23.
He's angry with members of Stop the Raids for not being there. He's angry with the community of Danbury for not coming out.
I believe he is angry at the simple fact that the people he's mentioned and the residents of Danbury have seen through the thin veneer of "spiritual" concern painted over very "unspiritual" hatred of immigrants.
Residents of Danbury, members of the interfaith community and activists are well aware of the xenophobia and racism which sits at the root of the diatribes, which he and other anti-immigrant zealots espouse.
We clearly see through the fear mongering they engage in. Linking the atrocities of Sept. 11 to illegal immigration being just one of those tactics.
I'd like to remind Mr. Marciano that the pilots who flew the planes into the World Trade Center that horrible day all had been issued visas. And while all cultures and groups have their bad apples, clearly, the idea of trying to tar and feather all immigrants with the same brush is clear and evident stereotyping.
This is something that most faith traditions and common sense warn us against. I, like many of my fellow Danburians, believe in a higher power who loves all people. Apparently, Mr. Marciano does not feel the same. But we'll continue to pray for him regardless.
Jean Hislop DANBURY
'Arrest and deport' is not real solution
Jul 01 2007 I appreciated your June 26 editorial on illegal immigrants for finally saying in print what the letter writers who shout for "arrest and deport" and "don't hire them" never stop to consider: It is physically impossible to remove 12 million people and they are not going to go back home no matter what.
We must control any new inflow but the only way to deal with those here is to get them into the legal system.
I was disturbed by your choice to outline the June 26 letter from Gregory Marciano and grace it with a political cartoon. Anyone who bemoans the fact that few came out to rally around the recognition of the murder of 14,000 to 46,000 Americans "who were killed by illegal aliens since Sept. 11" is moving close to the racial rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan. (I was born and raised in the deep South before civil rights).
He has every right to bemoan his rally, but to feature it as you did really offsets your fine editorial.
Henderson Cole DANBURY