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Letter from the Editor

We've gotten a number of calls and e-mails from readers concerned about an image on the cover of this week's New York magazine. The cover story -- which is about our children's reactions to the World Trade Center disaster -- is illustrated with a child holding his drawing of a plane flying into one of the towers. We chose the drawing because it suggested so powerfully the emotional impact of this event on the city's children, especially those who lost parents and those who were displaced from their schools and homes. What we didn't notice, although several dozen people here at the magazine saw the picture, is that the tiny stars drawn on the wings of the plane look like Jewish stars.

I want to make it absolutely clear that the use of this picture was not intended to express anything other than a child working through a traumatic experience. It was drawn an hour after this six-year-old boy, whose mother is Jewish, was carried, in his teacher's arms, out of his school. We regret that it could be interpreted in any way that causes divisiveness.

I've been asked: How could we not have noticed? The answer is that we were looking at the drawing in the context of the story -- about the fears, the pain and the loss children are absorbing -- and not in a political context. It's a very moving story, one which is about the emotional lives of children, and that's what we saw when we chose the drawing. We probably didn't notice because, as anyone who's been a parent knows, children often draw their first stars by putting two triangles together; in this context, it's a child's star.

I deeply regret any misunderstanding generated by these stars, and want to apologize to anyone who was offended by their presence. I want to make it absolutely clear that we at New York magazine had no intention of furthering distortions and lies which help to perpetuate anti-Semitism.

Caroline Miller

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