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Letter: U.S. has the capacity to help Syrian refugees

U.S. has the capacity to help Syrian refugees

A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s what I felt when I saw the picture of Germans welcoming tens of thousands of weary Syrian refugees. The heartfelt response to the human crisis is letting go of the old rules and acting out of spontaneous generosity arising from the emergency situation that is calling to all who can help. Germany has accepted almost half a million refugees and is expected to take in a total of 800,000 by year’s end. Sweden has done an even greater percentage.

The United States, at this point, is taking only a few thousand. We have the capacity to do so much more and with enough pressure from citizens, we will. Our country identifies itself as the leader of the Western world and was founded by immigrants. We must also respond from our hearts if we are who we proclaim ourselves to be. This is only the beginning of “climate refugees,” that is, people who are forced to leave their drought-stricken, flooded or war-torn homes. They are on the move in search of making a new life.

The world talks in Paris in early December have never been more critical. Lives are already being gravely affected by the rise in greenhouse gases, warming the planet beyond a sustainable level.

Judy Fitzgerald