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Can you believe this?

Posted by Barbara TX on 9/11/01 at 09:11 (059846)

I just see that the world trade center, pentagon have just been hit with planes hijacked by terrorists, all Dallas planes are grounded.... and two California planes are missing... this must be what hearing about Pearl Harbor was like. This is really awful. B.

Re: Can you believe this?

john h on 9/11/01 at 09:51 (059853)

I am afraid we are seeing the begining of what Israel,Palastein,Northern Ireland have been experiencing for many years. Our response must be sure and swift or life in our country will be changed forever.

Re: Can you believe this?

tammie on 9/11/01 at 09:56 (059857)

I just cannot believe this it is just there are no words to describe the feelings.May God be with everyone!

Re: Can you believe this?

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 09:57 (059858)

No John, I think it's worse than that. This is the worst. Things will never be the same.

Re: Can you believe this?

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 09:58 (059859)

All planes in the United States are grounded. some are being rerouted here. I think ours will be grounded shortly.

Re: Can you believe this?

Julie on 9/11/01 at 10:25 (059860)

It's of course top news here - nothing else to be heard. The UK is on full security alert, and the prime minister, who was about to address the Trades Union Congress, has given a report instead, and sent his condolences to the families of those who have been killed. It is truly terrible, and my thoughts are wish you all.

Re: Can you believe this?

Julie on 9/11/01 at 10:31 (059861)

All flights out of the UK have been cancelled, and the London Stock Exchange evacuated.

Re: Can you believe this?

Tammie on 9/11/01 at 10:59 (059863)

At cleveland airport they have come on news saying they have a airliner in a contained area with 200 people with a bomb possible, they are evacuating some areas of cleveland my brother works near there and he just called to tell us he is safe and on way home. Says everything is chaotic, doenst know if it is copycat or if it is real or just being extra safe. I just cannot believe this unreal.

Re: Can you believe this?

Richard, C.Ped on 9/11/01 at 11:03 (059864)

Columbia, South Carolina is like a ghost town today. Everyone is inside watching the news.
Richard

Re: Bad deal !!!

BrianG on 9/11/01 at 11:23 (059866)

The heel pain doesn't seem quite as bad today, does it.

Prayers would be good
BCG

Re: Can you believe this?

Suzanne D on 9/11/01 at 11:26 (059867)

I live 25 miles from Ft. Knox, and we have heard that it is on lock-down - no one in or out right now. The adults here at my school are whispering about it to keep the little children from being frightened. I just had to check this site to see if you all were o.k. Prayers for everyone...

Re: Atlanta

Carmen H on 9/11/01 at 11:39 (059870)

Many places evacuated in Atlanta and the CNN building is on lockdown so they can continue to do live coverage....
AWFUL...just terrible.

Re: Can you believe this?

nancy s. on 9/11/01 at 13:23 (059882)

flags are at half mast and everyone i see in maine is crying today. what sorrow. i am sick to my stomach. i turned on the tv to pay bills just after the first tower was hit -- and then saw every event thereafter either as it was happening or as soon as it was broadcast. i can't think of anything else to say . . . it's horrifying, and as others have said, i'm afraid life will never be the same. my heart goes out to everyone affected.

Re: Unreal... Kids sent home from school all over town...

Beverly on 9/11/01 at 15:55 (059896)

I pray that none of us here had family involved in this terrible loss.

A friend called me a few minutes after it first came out about the World Trade Center, and told me to turn on the T.V. That was before it collasped. Even this jaded babyboomer who grew up with Vietnam on TV every night with my TV dinner sat in numbed shock. After about an hour, I decided to take my bath... figuring that nothing would change in 15 minutes. While I was in the tub, the Pentegon crash was announced. I couldn't believe that in the amount of time it took to take a bath, another terrible tragedy occurred.

Everyone keeps comparing this to Pearl Harbor, but I think this is worse.
It's happened to civilians and we don't even know who did it.

Our schools were put on 'high alert' and the kids sent home. I remember as a little kid having duck and cover drills under the desk and out in the hall. Like that was going to do any good...

Prayer,
Beverly

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 17:19 (059902)

I live only about 50-60 miles from New York, and there are a lot of commuters in this area. The school I'm newly working in has a lot of kids whose parents or other relatives work in NY, and some worked in the World Trade Centers. As far as we knew at 3pm, none of their parents were affected, but the odds that none of our kids lost someone today are pretty small. Two of my fellow teachers have friends or family who work on Wall St, and those are just the ones I know of.

My boss came in this morning and told me about the first plane, but didn't give me any idea that he was talking about a passenger jet. I was meeting with another teacher when he came back in and told us about the second plane--he lives in campus and had gone home to see what was on TV, since we couldn't get to any of the online news outlets (though we later figured out that the BBC website was up and running and was covering the story). He gave us a better idea of the magnitude of what was going on. The chapel service ended up being in the gym, with various school officials relaying the news and letting the kids know where they could go if they wanted to get in touch with anyone.

I set aside the first ten minutes of my classes for them to talk about what had happened and/or go online and look at the news, or send emails to anyone they wanted to find or who might be worried about them. One of my seniors asked me if I thought we would go to war. I have to tell you that I never dreamed that any of my kids would ever ask me that, and certainly not within my first full week as a teacher. I told her that I didn't know, but that until we figured out who was responsible, it was unlikely--and that anything could happen after that.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have had a hard time concentrating all day. Last year, I did the OrthoWave study in the Bronx, and took the train from NJ and then the subway to get there. I kept thinking all day today how easily this could have happened while I was there, or while I was in town to see a play or visit a friend. I can't fully comprehend that two of the most recognizable buildings on the NY skyline are simply gone, in a matter of a few hours, and that I will never have a chance to go there and look out over the city. I am avoiding the TV coverage because I really am afraid that I will not be able to sleep tonight if I fill my head with these images all evening.

Honestly, New York (and other cities) are sitting ducks for this sort of thing, and it really is amazing that it hasn't happened before. I am afraid now that every two-bit terrorist on the planet is going to say 'Look what they did!' and try something similar. I'm scheduled to fly to Florida for Christmas, and I have to admit that I am none too eager to get on a plane today.

Forgive me for venting, but it really is abominable that airline security is so lax in the US. I realise that everyone thinks that domestic flights are safe (until today), but even international flight security is not what it should be. Countries that have been dealing with airline terrorism for decades have developed practices aimed at minimizing the possibility for a tragedy, but we in the US have just gone blithely on, ignoring the problem and hopping it will go away. Pan Am 103 was a wake-up call, but not on the scale that it should have been--and we've had 11 years to get our act together. One of the only things that visibly changed is the list of questions you're asked when you check your bags--and if I hear one more person complain about having to answer those questions, I may just bust a gut. Those questions exist for a reason, and if you and the folks at the airline take them seriously, they may just save your life. As for x-ray machines, they're great--as long as you don't have to monitor one for more than 20 minutes. They wear out your eyes so quickly that 20 minutes is about as long as you can really pay attention to what you're doing. Plastic explosives can be shaped into what looks indistinguishable from normal object on an x-ray (a book, for instance), and the metal detectors won't pick them up, either.

I'm not saying any of this to scare anyone. My point is that we have left ourselves wide open for just this sort of thing to happen, and it's time for us all to wake up and expect the airlines (and the federal regulators) to do something pro-active. Yes, your plane ticket may cost more, and you may have to jump through more hoops to get through airport security, but I would rather do both of those things and know that my odds of reaching my destination were higher.

OK, off my soapbox... I just can't help but think that, to some degree at least, what happened today was avoidable.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Julie on 9/11/01 at 17:36 (059905)

Agreed, Nancy. It was a huge, huge failure of security.

BUT - when you've got highly trained terrorists who are prepared to commit suicide, you have to wonder whether even the tightest security could ever be a match for them.

What you said about how you handled your class is very close to my experience this evening. I left the house in a state of shock to drive into central London to teach my yoga class. As my students arrived, one by one, I could see from their shocked faces that they had all heard the news at work, and I thought: I cannot just start the lesson without acknowledging this in some way. So I got them up from relaxation and talked to them, and asked one of the men, who is an Anglican priest, to say something too, and then we sat in silence for a few minutes before going on with the class. And at the end we talked about it.

This has touched everybody. Please don't think those of you who are in the States are alone with it.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 17:39 (059906)

Our thoughts and prayers are with the United States, as well as the whole world this evening. I have relatives in several major US cities, and I'll be attempting to get through to them this evening. I also have an Aunt and Uncle in the United Arab Emiretes (Middle East)..I am obviously very concerned for their safety at this point.

My 16 year old referred to this as Armegeddon this morning, and I thought he was being a little theatrical. I take it back.

I've certainly never thought that as a parent I would face the prospects of discussing the threat of war with my kids.

20 years ago, many of us lived with the real fear of possible nuclear war. Those days seem so long ago, and we've got a whole generation of kids who believe war is something that happened a long time ago, or only happens in other countries. What a terrible wake up call for all of us.

I would join you in the IM chat this evening - but I still don't have things working properly on my PC at home.

We stayed at work today, but several of our govenment buildings were evactuated - especially the tall ones. Very little got done though. Most people wandered around looking overwhelmed, or they huddled around TV's to watch broadcasts. Many of us have American relatives - two had relatives who work in the trade centre. One is okay - no word on the other.

I honestly keep hoping that I will just wake up tomorrow to find that this was just a horrible nightmare.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 17:49 (059907)

Julie/Wendy--

I realized earlier today that the rest of the world is as horrified by today's events as we are--it was somewhat reassuring (though also more horrifying) to know that if I could not find news on cnn.com or msnbc.com, I could find it on the BBC's site. I've also just seen a broadcast of the UK's Newsnight program on CSPAN that reinforces that idea. I think we all have to work together, regardless of nationality, if we are really going to do anything about terrorism.

Julie, I agree that acknowledgment is very important, especially since there's a high chance that these kids will be directly affected, or that they will know someone who was. Ignoring it is like trying to shove an elephant under the living room rug.

I don't mean to imply that there is a foolproof system--I certainly know that someone who is willing to die for their cause will go all out and do things nobody else would dare to do. But I do believe that we should have done more after other incidents--we could have protected ourselves better, even if we couldn't have done it completely. The seemingly widely-held idea that we are safe here--just because we're in the US--is a myth that was shattered this morning, in rather grander style than any of us would have liked.

Others have posted that no good can come from this. I disagree. As tragic as it is, I hope that it highlights two things: 1) that a missile defense shield on its own will not keep us safe, and 2) that we need to stop thinking within the confines of the US, and acknowledge that the problems of the rest of the world may cross our borders, whether we want them to or not. The lack of response about airline security is an insult to those who lost their lives in 1988; I hope that we will not repeat that mistake this time.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 17:50 (059908)

Wendy--

Don't forget that there is a web-based version of AIM--you can find it at http://aol.com/aim/aimexpress.htm , if I have the address correct.

I am with you--I keep thinking that I will wake up tomorrow and find out that today was a nightmare. And yet, I know that it's not...

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Suzanne D on 9/11/01 at 18:20 (059910)

Nancy, knowing how upset my 15 year old was when she came in from high school and how the tragedy had been the main topic all day in every class, my heart goes out to teachers who live close to NY and whose students have such connections. For today, I was able to keep my first graders unaware of this situation. Of course tomorrow they will have heard, and we will try to deal with it. I thought I would like for them to keep their 'childhood innocence' one more day and that their parents could talk to them first about it since they are so young. Even though we are in rural KY, we are only 25 miles from Ft. Knox, and several from our area work there. They are under a lock-down, and so many will be affected. It touches us all, doesn't it? Like ripples in the water, more and more are affected from these horrible and senseless acts.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 18:44 (059914)

A crisis counsellor on the news recommended that you be open and honest with kids about this. They are very perceptive - and if you are evasive they will conjure up things in their imaginations - believing that it's too terrible for you to even talk about. The DJ on the radio station was crying this morning, and the reporter I watched on TV was trembling so badly I didn't think he was going to make it.

Re: Can you believe this?

DR. Zuckerman on 9/11/01 at 18:55 (059916)

It is worse wendyn. But this country must lead the world against this hatred and killing. There are countries out there that support this and they must be handled . There is no way that this was done by a group. There
are countries that support this day in and day out and they must realize that today is different they will pay and pay the price. Tommorrow will be different because no country that supports these murders will be allowed to live . I don't like to talk about more killing but we must strike the country that was behind this and we will. American won't turn its cheek any
more. !!!!

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 19:13 (059919)

I agree. To ignore it is just wrong. And really, it can't be done. Everyone knows something's gone on, and it's all anyone can think about. I am amazed that I managed to correct homework and plan a lesson this afternoon--except that, at that point, I needed something else to think about. But otherwise, every five minutes I kept trying to get info on what happened, even though I really didn't want to know. It's hard to ignore, even within yourself, and I've been trying to talk about it all evening and get it out...

Re: Can you believe this?

Barbara TX on 9/11/01 at 19:21 (059921)

What I know from here - husband works at Verizon and they put out digital/cellular signals from the top of the WTC - all gone, of course, all the people he was supposed to teleconference with 'unreachable.' Just dead air. My sister was evacuated from Bank America bldg. in Minneapolis, Dallas WTC closed. We live near American airlines - the skies are vacant and the silence deafening. Military planes every once in awhile are cruising over Dallas and DFW airport.

Just a word about airport security from my POV. Last time I went to NJ I took little toy six-shooters and a cowboy hat in my suitcase and I was practically strip-searched. I was sent away to re-pack everything and show everything to security. It was a real mess. Every time I have gone back and forth in a wheelchair, I was given a total body search by female security. Sounds like the terrorists used plastic knives, which are just as deadly as metal ones and impossible to detect.

What sickens me most is the rejoicing among the terrorist nations. It cuts you to the core. I try to understand the history of their hatred of Israel and I understand the injustices done them in the past... but only people who have totally given themselves over to evil can rejoice so much over death. B.

Re: Can you believe this?

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 19:35 (059924)

Part of the problem is that security is tighter at some airports than others. That may be why Boston was chosen as the starting point. At BWI, anybody can walk back to the departure gates. At Fort Myers in Florida, on the other hand, only ticketed passengers can go back there. It all depends on the particular airport and, to some extent, on the airline. I'm glad that some have improved, but we still have a long way to go.

Re: Can you believe this?

Cynthia D on 9/11/01 at 20:05 (059926)

Yes, Nancy, good point, I live in Boston, and you don't have to show your ticket to enter the gate area, but in Ft. Myers, you do. Security always seems tighter in Ft. Myers than Boston. For that matter, LaGuardia always seems pretty strict, too. But the security officers are humans, and they can miss things. There must be a better way to screen passengers. I tell you, my stomach churned when I heard the first plane was from Boston. My husband flew out of here just before the ill-fated LA flight, he even circled the World Trade Center, thinking how beautiful it is. Less than 30 minutes before the first plane crashed into them. He saw the smoke from the bridge on the way into the city, while he heard the news on the car radio. Fortunately, he has one of those international sattelite phones for his work, so he was able to call to say he was ok. I'm a basket case until he walks in the door tomorrow. I told my daughter to 'put her socks in the freezer', when I meant to say, 'put your markers back in the drawer'. My husband and his colleagues all had to spend the night as they couldn't even leave the city. My heart goes out to all fellow Americans who were victims of this sensless act.

My kid's school didn't tell the kids either. I went to get them all out early, even though the school stayed open. I agree with Wendy that full disclosure is the best if they are mature enough to handle it. My kids took it well enough, but it was hard that their Dad is still there. My son asked if we go to war, would I or his Dad have to go and fight. Then he asked what is the youngest they make you go. I never thought I'd hear my child ask that question. Today, our lives have changed, as much as we don't want to give in to these terrorists.

We were due to pick up twin puppies at 3:00 from Atlanta, needless to say, they didn't arrive, either. They may not be able to take 'cargo' for a few more days, but that's the least of our worries. Wish I could just drive down there.

I hope everyone from our heelspurs 'family' in and around New York and Washington are safe tonight.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Pauline on 9/11/01 at 21:01 (059931)

As long as Americans continue to think we are infallible, and as long as we continue to think that the Holocaust of our brothers can't happen again, we will continue to see attacks against our freedoms, our people and our security. What happened today, should never have happened and it's up to each one of us not to let another day go by that we take for granted. My prayers tonight are for the victims, their families and friends and for all Americans who's lives have been changed forever. May God bless all of us.

Re: Can you believe this?

Donna M on 9/11/01 at 21:12 (059933)

Like the rest of you, this just makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I agree with Wendy and whoever else that also said, our lives will be different after today.
I have not gotten over what I saw when I went to Oklahoma City. It was 'bad', but this is just mind boggling. I am so shocked I cannot find words to describe how I feel and my heart breaks when I try to.
Everything here with the government, TVA where my hubby works, NASA, Red Stone Arsenal, are all under lockdown. Due to talk, whether it be rumors or not, our gas prices are supposed to soar. Here in AL they say gas will be close to $2.50 by morning. On the local news they said in Florida, Georgia and one other, I can't remember, gas is already up to $2.60. Today, before this started, it was from $1.19 to $1.37 a gallon for regular. They say this is happening because some piplines are closing down for safety reasons, who knows.
I remember the Vietnam war. I was a teenager and I had friends who fought and died and my hubby is a Vietnam vet. I guess being older, having children of my own, and really realizing what is going on, this is just devastating to me. I almost feel like I am in a kind of 'shock'.
For all the injured, physically and mentally, and for those who have lost family and friends, my heart is heavy and my prayers are many.
I also pray for our leaders to 'prayerfully' ask for guidance, so they will do what is right for everyone involved.
I hope and pray everyone's friends and family, from our PF site, are all safe and accounted for tonight.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 22:33 (059936)

I saw something on the news last November that haunts me to this day, especially today. A TV station was doing some street reporting on why poppy sales were down for Rememberance day (I think Veterans day for Americans). Most people replied that they'd just forgotten to buy one - but one young girl (maybe 17) interviewed said she didn't buy one because Rememberance day 'Just doesn't have anything to do with me.'

Of course anyone watching TV stared opened mouthed in disbelief, stunned and amazed by such a stupid comment, and such a foolish attitude.

The saying used to be 'Lest we forget' ...only it seems that many have indeed forgotten.

Re: Can you believe this?

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 22:41 (059937)

I was amazed that at O'Hare you can walk right to the departure/arrival boarding area. You can't even do that at my airport - and I'm in the middle of no where. Only ticketed passengers can get through to the boarding area after passing the metal detectors/xray.

I was putting my son on a plane by himself when he was younger, and they would not let me through security to go with him to the boarding area because I had my very young baby with me. The security pass for escorting a minor was for ONE person, not ONE person and a baby. Talk about picky. BUT I will never complain about airplane rules again.

A couple years ago I flew to Chicago, and I don't remember them asking me the baggage questions when I left here to go there. But boy do I remember the guy asking me in Chicago when I came back- I had no idea what was coming. I got out of the car, and was at one of those little check in things outside. The ENORMOUS dude took my bag and asked me in a booming voice 'DID YOU PACK THIS BAG YOURSELF?!'

I just about wet my pants.

Of course I had no idea why he was asking me that - somehow I collected myself to answer his questions - but not before I nearly fainted.

Re: This morning

Julie on 9/12/01 at 06:49 (059944)

It all seems worse this morning. Waking up to the new pictures, the shots from different angles of the planes hitting, gazing in disbelief at the acres of rubble and dust and at the rescue workers wading through it. Seeing those pictures again and again, unable to take it in, knowing that what I'm seeing is just the surface, just the buildings, trying to imagine the agony of the thousands inside. It's terrible. Wendy, your son was right: it does feel like Armageddon.

For the whole of its history, America has felt invincible, has never experienced an attack within its shores. Yes, this is worse than Pearl Harbor. The thing itself is worse, and so are the possible consequences. Then, there was a known enemy to go to war against. Now, there is not. I am praying that sanity will somehow prevail and that no retaliatory action will be taken until it is known who is responsible. The consensus here, among the thoughtful, is that there is huge sympathy for America throughout the world, and a readiness to join forces in fighting terrorism; but that that sympathy will be quickly lost if America takes precipitate action. The warlike threats issuing from the President's mouth are deeply worrying. It's understandable that people should want revenge, but as someone commented here this morning, 'revenge is a dish best eaten cold'.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/ is a good website if you want to check on the coverage and reactions here.

Barb, I'm with you: horrifying as the coverage of the bombings is, in a way the most horrifying sight for me has been that of people laughing their heads off in the Middle East - briefly glimpsed, just once, but totally sickening. By the way - you know how, with some events, everyone remembers where they were when they heard about it, and what they were doing at the time? I heard about it from you, here at heelspurs.com, as I was checking recent messages ('recent' meaning in the five minutes since my last check). Your words are burned onto my mind.

Nancy, you make two excellent points, about the futility of missile defense and about American isolationism. Let's hope too, somewhere down the line, we may be able to look back on this as the wake-up call the world needs in order to come to its senses. It's hard to imagine now.

Re: Praise for the Brits

Barbara TX on 9/12/01 at 15:55 (059992)

BBC is coming through again with their customary excellent news coverage. When I want to avoid the talking heads and their subtle, policical commentary I always tune in to PBS. Did you hear Peter Jennings claim Bush's 'lack of leadership' for not showing up at the White House sooner? Today, while commenting on Laura Bush's speech (in which she was complimenting the media) he said 'when she FINALLY got to the point (insert sigh here)' Pfht. Give me BBC. B.

Re: Praise for the Brits

JudyS on 9/12/01 at 17:09 (060012)

I completely agree, TexBarb - we found BBC last nite as well and it was perfect.

Re: Praise for the Brits

Nancy N on 9/12/01 at 17:24 (060015)

For a while yesterday, the only news I could find online was on the BBC page, because everything else was swamped. Tried the CBC page as well, but that one wasn't far enough out of the country to be reachable. What did we ever do before the internet??

Re: Can you believe this?

john h on 9/11/01 at 09:51 (059853)

I am afraid we are seeing the begining of what Israel,Palastein,Northern Ireland have been experiencing for many years. Our response must be sure and swift or life in our country will be changed forever.

Re: Can you believe this?

tammie on 9/11/01 at 09:56 (059857)

I just cannot believe this it is just there are no words to describe the feelings.May God be with everyone!

Re: Can you believe this?

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 09:57 (059858)

No John, I think it's worse than that. This is the worst. Things will never be the same.

Re: Can you believe this?

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 09:58 (059859)

All planes in the United States are grounded. some are being rerouted here. I think ours will be grounded shortly.

Re: Can you believe this?

Julie on 9/11/01 at 10:25 (059860)

It's of course top news here - nothing else to be heard. The UK is on full security alert, and the prime minister, who was about to address the Trades Union Congress, has given a report instead, and sent his condolences to the families of those who have been killed. It is truly terrible, and my thoughts are wish you all.

Re: Can you believe this?

Julie on 9/11/01 at 10:31 (059861)

All flights out of the UK have been cancelled, and the London Stock Exchange evacuated.

Re: Can you believe this?

Tammie on 9/11/01 at 10:59 (059863)

At cleveland airport they have come on news saying they have a airliner in a contained area with 200 people with a bomb possible, they are evacuating some areas of cleveland my brother works near there and he just called to tell us he is safe and on way home. Says everything is chaotic, doenst know if it is copycat or if it is real or just being extra safe. I just cannot believe this unreal.

Re: Can you believe this?

Richard, C.Ped on 9/11/01 at 11:03 (059864)

Columbia, South Carolina is like a ghost town today. Everyone is inside watching the news.
Richard

Re: Bad deal !!!

BrianG on 9/11/01 at 11:23 (059866)

The heel pain doesn't seem quite as bad today, does it.

Prayers would be good
BCG

Re: Can you believe this?

Suzanne D on 9/11/01 at 11:26 (059867)

I live 25 miles from Ft. Knox, and we have heard that it is on lock-down - no one in or out right now. The adults here at my school are whispering about it to keep the little children from being frightened. I just had to check this site to see if you all were o.k. Prayers for everyone...

Re: Atlanta

Carmen H on 9/11/01 at 11:39 (059870)

Many places evacuated in Atlanta and the CNN building is on lockdown so they can continue to do live coverage....
AWFUL...just terrible.

Re: Can you believe this?

nancy s. on 9/11/01 at 13:23 (059882)

flags are at half mast and everyone i see in maine is crying today. what sorrow. i am sick to my stomach. i turned on the tv to pay bills just after the first tower was hit -- and then saw every event thereafter either as it was happening or as soon as it was broadcast. i can't think of anything else to say . . . it's horrifying, and as others have said, i'm afraid life will never be the same. my heart goes out to everyone affected.

Re: Unreal... Kids sent home from school all over town...

Beverly on 9/11/01 at 15:55 (059896)

I pray that none of us here had family involved in this terrible loss.

A friend called me a few minutes after it first came out about the World Trade Center, and told me to turn on the T.V. That was before it collasped. Even this jaded babyboomer who grew up with Vietnam on TV every night with my TV dinner sat in numbed shock. After about an hour, I decided to take my bath... figuring that nothing would change in 15 minutes. While I was in the tub, the Pentegon crash was announced. I couldn't believe that in the amount of time it took to take a bath, another terrible tragedy occurred.

Everyone keeps comparing this to Pearl Harbor, but I think this is worse.
It's happened to civilians and we don't even know who did it.

Our schools were put on 'high alert' and the kids sent home. I remember as a little kid having duck and cover drills under the desk and out in the hall. Like that was going to do any good...

Prayer,
Beverly

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 17:19 (059902)

I live only about 50-60 miles from New York, and there are a lot of commuters in this area. The school I'm newly working in has a lot of kids whose parents or other relatives work in NY, and some worked in the World Trade Centers. As far as we knew at 3pm, none of their parents were affected, but the odds that none of our kids lost someone today are pretty small. Two of my fellow teachers have friends or family who work on Wall St, and those are just the ones I know of.

My boss came in this morning and told me about the first plane, but didn't give me any idea that he was talking about a passenger jet. I was meeting with another teacher when he came back in and told us about the second plane--he lives in campus and had gone home to see what was on TV, since we couldn't get to any of the online news outlets (though we later figured out that the BBC website was up and running and was covering the story). He gave us a better idea of the magnitude of what was going on. The chapel service ended up being in the gym, with various school officials relaying the news and letting the kids know where they could go if they wanted to get in touch with anyone.

I set aside the first ten minutes of my classes for them to talk about what had happened and/or go online and look at the news, or send emails to anyone they wanted to find or who might be worried about them. One of my seniors asked me if I thought we would go to war. I have to tell you that I never dreamed that any of my kids would ever ask me that, and certainly not within my first full week as a teacher. I told her that I didn't know, but that until we figured out who was responsible, it was unlikely--and that anything could happen after that.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have had a hard time concentrating all day. Last year, I did the OrthoWave study in the Bronx, and took the train from NJ and then the subway to get there. I kept thinking all day today how easily this could have happened while I was there, or while I was in town to see a play or visit a friend. I can't fully comprehend that two of the most recognizable buildings on the NY skyline are simply gone, in a matter of a few hours, and that I will never have a chance to go there and look out over the city. I am avoiding the TV coverage because I really am afraid that I will not be able to sleep tonight if I fill my head with these images all evening.

Honestly, New York (and other cities) are sitting ducks for this sort of thing, and it really is amazing that it hasn't happened before. I am afraid now that every two-bit terrorist on the planet is going to say 'Look what they did!' and try something similar. I'm scheduled to fly to Florida for Christmas, and I have to admit that I am none too eager to get on a plane today.

Forgive me for venting, but it really is abominable that airline security is so lax in the US. I realise that everyone thinks that domestic flights are safe (until today), but even international flight security is not what it should be. Countries that have been dealing with airline terrorism for decades have developed practices aimed at minimizing the possibility for a tragedy, but we in the US have just gone blithely on, ignoring the problem and hopping it will go away. Pan Am 103 was a wake-up call, but not on the scale that it should have been--and we've had 11 years to get our act together. One of the only things that visibly changed is the list of questions you're asked when you check your bags--and if I hear one more person complain about having to answer those questions, I may just bust a gut. Those questions exist for a reason, and if you and the folks at the airline take them seriously, they may just save your life. As for x-ray machines, they're great--as long as you don't have to monitor one for more than 20 minutes. They wear out your eyes so quickly that 20 minutes is about as long as you can really pay attention to what you're doing. Plastic explosives can be shaped into what looks indistinguishable from normal object on an x-ray (a book, for instance), and the metal detectors won't pick them up, either.

I'm not saying any of this to scare anyone. My point is that we have left ourselves wide open for just this sort of thing to happen, and it's time for us all to wake up and expect the airlines (and the federal regulators) to do something pro-active. Yes, your plane ticket may cost more, and you may have to jump through more hoops to get through airport security, but I would rather do both of those things and know that my odds of reaching my destination were higher.

OK, off my soapbox... I just can't help but think that, to some degree at least, what happened today was avoidable.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Julie on 9/11/01 at 17:36 (059905)

Agreed, Nancy. It was a huge, huge failure of security.

BUT - when you've got highly trained terrorists who are prepared to commit suicide, you have to wonder whether even the tightest security could ever be a match for them.

What you said about how you handled your class is very close to my experience this evening. I left the house in a state of shock to drive into central London to teach my yoga class. As my students arrived, one by one, I could see from their shocked faces that they had all heard the news at work, and I thought: I cannot just start the lesson without acknowledging this in some way. So I got them up from relaxation and talked to them, and asked one of the men, who is an Anglican priest, to say something too, and then we sat in silence for a few minutes before going on with the class. And at the end we talked about it.

This has touched everybody. Please don't think those of you who are in the States are alone with it.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 17:39 (059906)

Our thoughts and prayers are with the United States, as well as the whole world this evening. I have relatives in several major US cities, and I'll be attempting to get through to them this evening. I also have an Aunt and Uncle in the United Arab Emiretes (Middle East)..I am obviously very concerned for their safety at this point.

My 16 year old referred to this as Armegeddon this morning, and I thought he was being a little theatrical. I take it back.

I've certainly never thought that as a parent I would face the prospects of discussing the threat of war with my kids.

20 years ago, many of us lived with the real fear of possible nuclear war. Those days seem so long ago, and we've got a whole generation of kids who believe war is something that happened a long time ago, or only happens in other countries. What a terrible wake up call for all of us.

I would join you in the IM chat this evening - but I still don't have things working properly on my PC at home.

We stayed at work today, but several of our govenment buildings were evactuated - especially the tall ones. Very little got done though. Most people wandered around looking overwhelmed, or they huddled around TV's to watch broadcasts. Many of us have American relatives - two had relatives who work in the trade centre. One is okay - no word on the other.

I honestly keep hoping that I will just wake up tomorrow to find that this was just a horrible nightmare.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 17:49 (059907)

Julie/Wendy--

I realized earlier today that the rest of the world is as horrified by today's events as we are--it was somewhat reassuring (though also more horrifying) to know that if I could not find news on cnn.com or msnbc.com, I could find it on the BBC's site. I've also just seen a broadcast of the UK's Newsnight program on CSPAN that reinforces that idea. I think we all have to work together, regardless of nationality, if we are really going to do anything about terrorism.

Julie, I agree that acknowledgment is very important, especially since there's a high chance that these kids will be directly affected, or that they will know someone who was. Ignoring it is like trying to shove an elephant under the living room rug.

I don't mean to imply that there is a foolproof system--I certainly know that someone who is willing to die for their cause will go all out and do things nobody else would dare to do. But I do believe that we should have done more after other incidents--we could have protected ourselves better, even if we couldn't have done it completely. The seemingly widely-held idea that we are safe here--just because we're in the US--is a myth that was shattered this morning, in rather grander style than any of us would have liked.

Others have posted that no good can come from this. I disagree. As tragic as it is, I hope that it highlights two things: 1) that a missile defense shield on its own will not keep us safe, and 2) that we need to stop thinking within the confines of the US, and acknowledge that the problems of the rest of the world may cross our borders, whether we want them to or not. The lack of response about airline security is an insult to those who lost their lives in 1988; I hope that we will not repeat that mistake this time.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 17:50 (059908)

Wendy--

Don't forget that there is a web-based version of AIM--you can find it at http://aol.com/aim/aimexpress.htm , if I have the address correct.

I am with you--I keep thinking that I will wake up tomorrow and find out that today was a nightmare. And yet, I know that it's not...

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Suzanne D on 9/11/01 at 18:20 (059910)

Nancy, knowing how upset my 15 year old was when she came in from high school and how the tragedy had been the main topic all day in every class, my heart goes out to teachers who live close to NY and whose students have such connections. For today, I was able to keep my first graders unaware of this situation. Of course tomorrow they will have heard, and we will try to deal with it. I thought I would like for them to keep their 'childhood innocence' one more day and that their parents could talk to them first about it since they are so young. Even though we are in rural KY, we are only 25 miles from Ft. Knox, and several from our area work there. They are under a lock-down, and so many will be affected. It touches us all, doesn't it? Like ripples in the water, more and more are affected from these horrible and senseless acts.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 18:44 (059914)

A crisis counsellor on the news recommended that you be open and honest with kids about this. They are very perceptive - and if you are evasive they will conjure up things in their imaginations - believing that it's too terrible for you to even talk about. The DJ on the radio station was crying this morning, and the reporter I watched on TV was trembling so badly I didn't think he was going to make it.

Re: Can you believe this?

DR. Zuckerman on 9/11/01 at 18:55 (059916)

It is worse wendyn. But this country must lead the world against this hatred and killing. There are countries out there that support this and they must be handled . There is no way that this was done by a group. There
are countries that support this day in and day out and they must realize that today is different they will pay and pay the price. Tommorrow will be different because no country that supports these murders will be allowed to live . I don't like to talk about more killing but we must strike the country that was behind this and we will. American won't turn its cheek any
more. !!!!

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 19:13 (059919)

I agree. To ignore it is just wrong. And really, it can't be done. Everyone knows something's gone on, and it's all anyone can think about. I am amazed that I managed to correct homework and plan a lesson this afternoon--except that, at that point, I needed something else to think about. But otherwise, every five minutes I kept trying to get info on what happened, even though I really didn't want to know. It's hard to ignore, even within yourself, and I've been trying to talk about it all evening and get it out...

Re: Can you believe this?

Barbara TX on 9/11/01 at 19:21 (059921)

What I know from here - husband works at Verizon and they put out digital/cellular signals from the top of the WTC - all gone, of course, all the people he was supposed to teleconference with 'unreachable.' Just dead air. My sister was evacuated from Bank America bldg. in Minneapolis, Dallas WTC closed. We live near American airlines - the skies are vacant and the silence deafening. Military planes every once in awhile are cruising over Dallas and DFW airport.

Just a word about airport security from my POV. Last time I went to NJ I took little toy six-shooters and a cowboy hat in my suitcase and I was practically strip-searched. I was sent away to re-pack everything and show everything to security. It was a real mess. Every time I have gone back and forth in a wheelchair, I was given a total body search by female security. Sounds like the terrorists used plastic knives, which are just as deadly as metal ones and impossible to detect.

What sickens me most is the rejoicing among the terrorist nations. It cuts you to the core. I try to understand the history of their hatred of Israel and I understand the injustices done them in the past... but only people who have totally given themselves over to evil can rejoice so much over death. B.

Re: Can you believe this?

Nancy N on 9/11/01 at 19:35 (059924)

Part of the problem is that security is tighter at some airports than others. That may be why Boston was chosen as the starting point. At BWI, anybody can walk back to the departure gates. At Fort Myers in Florida, on the other hand, only ticketed passengers can go back there. It all depends on the particular airport and, to some extent, on the airline. I'm glad that some have improved, but we still have a long way to go.

Re: Can you believe this?

Cynthia D on 9/11/01 at 20:05 (059926)

Yes, Nancy, good point, I live in Boston, and you don't have to show your ticket to enter the gate area, but in Ft. Myers, you do. Security always seems tighter in Ft. Myers than Boston. For that matter, LaGuardia always seems pretty strict, too. But the security officers are humans, and they can miss things. There must be a better way to screen passengers. I tell you, my stomach churned when I heard the first plane was from Boston. My husband flew out of here just before the ill-fated LA flight, he even circled the World Trade Center, thinking how beautiful it is. Less than 30 minutes before the first plane crashed into them. He saw the smoke from the bridge on the way into the city, while he heard the news on the car radio. Fortunately, he has one of those international sattelite phones for his work, so he was able to call to say he was ok. I'm a basket case until he walks in the door tomorrow. I told my daughter to 'put her socks in the freezer', when I meant to say, 'put your markers back in the drawer'. My husband and his colleagues all had to spend the night as they couldn't even leave the city. My heart goes out to all fellow Americans who were victims of this sensless act.

My kid's school didn't tell the kids either. I went to get them all out early, even though the school stayed open. I agree with Wendy that full disclosure is the best if they are mature enough to handle it. My kids took it well enough, but it was hard that their Dad is still there. My son asked if we go to war, would I or his Dad have to go and fight. Then he asked what is the youngest they make you go. I never thought I'd hear my child ask that question. Today, our lives have changed, as much as we don't want to give in to these terrorists.

We were due to pick up twin puppies at 3:00 from Atlanta, needless to say, they didn't arrive, either. They may not be able to take 'cargo' for a few more days, but that's the least of our worries. Wish I could just drive down there.

I hope everyone from our heelspurs 'family' in and around New York and Washington are safe tonight.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

Pauline on 9/11/01 at 21:01 (059931)

As long as Americans continue to think we are infallible, and as long as we continue to think that the Holocaust of our brothers can't happen again, we will continue to see attacks against our freedoms, our people and our security. What happened today, should never have happened and it's up to each one of us not to let another day go by that we take for granted. My prayers tonight are for the victims, their families and friends and for all Americans who's lives have been changed forever. May God bless all of us.

Re: Can you believe this?

Donna M on 9/11/01 at 21:12 (059933)

Like the rest of you, this just makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I agree with Wendy and whoever else that also said, our lives will be different after today.
I have not gotten over what I saw when I went to Oklahoma City. It was 'bad', but this is just mind boggling. I am so shocked I cannot find words to describe how I feel and my heart breaks when I try to.
Everything here with the government, TVA where my hubby works, NASA, Red Stone Arsenal, are all under lockdown. Due to talk, whether it be rumors or not, our gas prices are supposed to soar. Here in AL they say gas will be close to $2.50 by morning. On the local news they said in Florida, Georgia and one other, I can't remember, gas is already up to $2.60. Today, before this started, it was from $1.19 to $1.37 a gallon for regular. They say this is happening because some piplines are closing down for safety reasons, who knows.
I remember the Vietnam war. I was a teenager and I had friends who fought and died and my hubby is a Vietnam vet. I guess being older, having children of my own, and really realizing what is going on, this is just devastating to me. I almost feel like I am in a kind of 'shock'.
For all the injured, physically and mentally, and for those who have lost family and friends, my heart is heavy and my prayers are many.
I also pray for our leaders to 'prayerfully' ask for guidance, so they will do what is right for everyone involved.
I hope and pray everyone's friends and family, from our PF site, are all safe and accounted for tonight.

Re: We have kids whose parents work(ed) there...

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 22:33 (059936)

I saw something on the news last November that haunts me to this day, especially today. A TV station was doing some street reporting on why poppy sales were down for Rememberance day (I think Veterans day for Americans). Most people replied that they'd just forgotten to buy one - but one young girl (maybe 17) interviewed said she didn't buy one because Rememberance day 'Just doesn't have anything to do with me.'

Of course anyone watching TV stared opened mouthed in disbelief, stunned and amazed by such a stupid comment, and such a foolish attitude.

The saying used to be 'Lest we forget' ...only it seems that many have indeed forgotten.

Re: Can you believe this?

wendyn on 9/11/01 at 22:41 (059937)

I was amazed that at O'Hare you can walk right to the departure/arrival boarding area. You can't even do that at my airport - and I'm in the middle of no where. Only ticketed passengers can get through to the boarding area after passing the metal detectors/xray.

I was putting my son on a plane by himself when he was younger, and they would not let me through security to go with him to the boarding area because I had my very young baby with me. The security pass for escorting a minor was for ONE person, not ONE person and a baby. Talk about picky. BUT I will never complain about airplane rules again.

A couple years ago I flew to Chicago, and I don't remember them asking me the baggage questions when I left here to go there. But boy do I remember the guy asking me in Chicago when I came back- I had no idea what was coming. I got out of the car, and was at one of those little check in things outside. The ENORMOUS dude took my bag and asked me in a booming voice 'DID YOU PACK THIS BAG YOURSELF?!'

I just about wet my pants.

Of course I had no idea why he was asking me that - somehow I collected myself to answer his questions - but not before I nearly fainted.

Re: This morning

Julie on 9/12/01 at 06:49 (059944)

It all seems worse this morning. Waking up to the new pictures, the shots from different angles of the planes hitting, gazing in disbelief at the acres of rubble and dust and at the rescue workers wading through it. Seeing those pictures again and again, unable to take it in, knowing that what I'm seeing is just the surface, just the buildings, trying to imagine the agony of the thousands inside. It's terrible. Wendy, your son was right: it does feel like Armageddon.

For the whole of its history, America has felt invincible, has never experienced an attack within its shores. Yes, this is worse than Pearl Harbor. The thing itself is worse, and so are the possible consequences. Then, there was a known enemy to go to war against. Now, there is not. I am praying that sanity will somehow prevail and that no retaliatory action will be taken until it is known who is responsible. The consensus here, among the thoughtful, is that there is huge sympathy for America throughout the world, and a readiness to join forces in fighting terrorism; but that that sympathy will be quickly lost if America takes precipitate action. The warlike threats issuing from the President's mouth are deeply worrying. It's understandable that people should want revenge, but as someone commented here this morning, 'revenge is a dish best eaten cold'.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/ is a good website if you want to check on the coverage and reactions here.

Barb, I'm with you: horrifying as the coverage of the bombings is, in a way the most horrifying sight for me has been that of people laughing their heads off in the Middle East - briefly glimpsed, just once, but totally sickening. By the way - you know how, with some events, everyone remembers where they were when they heard about it, and what they were doing at the time? I heard about it from you, here at heelspurs.com, as I was checking recent messages ('recent' meaning in the five minutes since my last check). Your words are burned onto my mind.

Nancy, you make two excellent points, about the futility of missile defense and about American isolationism. Let's hope too, somewhere down the line, we may be able to look back on this as the wake-up call the world needs in order to come to its senses. It's hard to imagine now.

Re: Praise for the Brits

Barbara TX on 9/12/01 at 15:55 (059992)

BBC is coming through again with their customary excellent news coverage. When I want to avoid the talking heads and their subtle, policical commentary I always tune in to PBS. Did you hear Peter Jennings claim Bush's 'lack of leadership' for not showing up at the White House sooner? Today, while commenting on Laura Bush's speech (in which she was complimenting the media) he said 'when she FINALLY got to the point (insert sigh here)' Pfht. Give me BBC. B.

Re: Praise for the Brits

JudyS on 9/12/01 at 17:09 (060012)

I completely agree, TexBarb - we found BBC last nite as well and it was perfect.

Re: Praise for the Brits

Nancy N on 9/12/01 at 17:24 (060015)

For a while yesterday, the only news I could find online was on the BBC page, because everything else was swamped. Tried the CBC page as well, but that one wasn't far enough out of the country to be reachable. What did we ever do before the internet??