NEWS FORUM / 911: Afterthoughts "ATTACK ON AMERICA" Vol. 3, No. 1
September 30, 2001
What an awkward turn-of-century it has been for me: First, Cleo my 16-year-old tuxedo cat passed away in January, her birthday month, then September 11 = 911 happened on my birthday month (& Beau's my Shih Tzu dog). Here's an excerpt of my post that I announced in my e-newsletter / Bulletins and newsgroups:
I feel devastated- I'd like to express:
MY PRAYERS TO YOU ALL IN NYC & DC
When I first turned on my TV today thinking it'll be a nice normal day and doing laundry, I noticed the shows being interrupted by the news all over. I was dumbfounded by the crashes towards NYC Trade Center and DC buildings. I don't recall hearing / reading about the impending threats about to come. How sudden & unexpected! Just last night, I was at the movies (saw "Jeepers Creepers", ugh) at a local mall on my free birthday pass, and that mall is closed today. After last night, it seemed like today would be a nice "boring" (in a funny way) day! How so upsetting that today would make a very sad history. While I don't have folks living in NYC or DC, I mourn for all who are associated w/in the areas. My deeply heartfelt prayers for all...
I found out about the fateful news later on, as I slept in that morning simply to enjoy my day off. I didn't have my TV on all morning when I had my breakfast after showering. Just as I was doing my laundry, I turned on the TV because sometimes I watch those TV court shows. When I caught a glimpse of the Breaking News Live being on and saw the fire at some building somewhere, I thought, Oh, a fire at a skyscraper- that's why the News is still interrupting the regular TV shows...okay. When I got back from putting my clothes in the washer and started looking at the TV some more to see why the News was dragging on about some fire, as I was wondering the importance of the interruption- was it some big fire or something? Then, before I knew it, they were replaying the planes hitting Towers 1 & 2 buildings of the World Trade Center in New York City. I was in shock. As I attempted to get caught up, I was piecing together the keyphrasess: suicide terrorists in planes / cell phone callers phoning out describing hijackers using box cutters, terrorism / war a possibility, Taliban / Afghanistan / Pakistan, ruthless leader Osama bin Laden / cause of 1993 bombings of World Trade Center and possibly responsible for masterminding this one (and claiming he had nothing to do with it!) , 4 commercial planes crashing in NYC's WTC DC & PA, 'everybody' died on the 4 planes and at WTC & DC & PA, and so on and on and on. And, what's with he Pakistani refugees cheering like God planned it?? OMG! The most psychological at the moment was catching a video of what looked like a man falling off the building, with his arms seemingly flapping like a bird, and showing the ladies on the street watching and screaming in horror as they witnessed people falling and jumping off the buildings, as well as watching the buildings imploding and collapsing like pancakes. I replayed the flashbacks in my mind. I was overwhelmed and wondered if anyone I knew might be killed or injured. Nobody so far. Surprisingly, as I am from New Jersey (and came to Arizona as a teen)- it was beginning to feel like almost everybody worked at the WTC Towers. I logged on the web to lurk the newsgroups and many posters, some from NYC, had posted sympathies and more information that we could use to decipher what the heck was going on and why such a September 11 catastrophe, which will forever be etched in modern history, had occurred and for what reason. The second week in September is a busy time: schools just began, travelers taking advantage of post Labor Day discounts and fewer crowds, autumn season and Halloween. America was at a standstill. Businesses closed. Hollywood postponed the Emmys and the new fall TV shows. Major airports looked like a ghosttown due to evacuation. Students at schools/colleges were sent home, and almost every channel on TV (& some cable) was focusing entirely on the Breaking News of updates. My favorite news coverage was Fox News on channel 5 Phoenix, and I'm so thankful for their uninterrupted real-time closed-captioning (with some normal interruptions), as well as their marquee & scrolls. The next day, I purchased the Special Edition of the Arizona Republic newspaper to keep tabs; they printed a symbol of the U.S. flag on the back page, for us to display. (If your city or town printed a Special Edition, please save it.) Both the live news and newspapers did a concise job working for 24 hours and onward overtime to keep us informed. I wondered about the other civilized countries and was relieved to see them offering their sympathies on live TV and in person such as the foreign prime minister, UK, Canada, and China, among others. One of them apologized face-to-face to a beleagered and nodding President Bush and offered to help and be on our side should there be a war. That was pivotal and brave. The Attorney General, CIA, and FBI are to be lauded for a tough job well-done in searching for anyone associated with the meticulate and intricate plannings of 911. A seemingly devastated and angry New York mayor Rudy Guiliani came forth, and they're considering extending his term as mayor. Past politicians such as former presidents Clinton and the elder Bush, and former NYC mayor Ed Koch spoke on live TV and visited the doomed site where WTC Towers used to stand so proudly. The candlelight gatherings across America outside were beautiful. Politicians (and Arizona politicians such as State Senator John McCain, a Vietnam veteran) and Evangelist Billy Graham flew to DC cathedral to give a eulogy. For the next few days, I stayed home glued to the TV tube and logging online to keep within the communication flow. Many websites and publications and businesses displayed flags & ribbons and offered more informational links and sympathies (some via e-mail); ebay.com auction site suspended auctions attempting to sell the WTC collections, for the sake of grieving foiks. While I've learned that none of my folks or associates had been killed or injured by the attacks and crashes, Shari, my new Internet friend with the Hearing Dog Rocky that visited me in the summer of '01 from California, sadly informed me that her second cousin was working at the 104th floor of Tower 1 and never came home to this day, presumably killed. He was 26 years old.
Michael Marti, Shari's 2nd cousin Missing at WTC 1 Submitted by Shari Golyer
The following weekend, I went to the library to drop off magazines and walk around a nearby mall. I was in a bit of a daze and just needed to get out & about. The staff at LuAnn's Hallmark store was hand-making red, white, blue ribbons to pin on my shirt; they gave me one and a few for me to give to others for free. How nice and soothing. Many people sported shirts displaying a USA flag logo. Some wore flag pins. I eventually wore black so the ribbon would stand out to gain more attention of support. My apartment management and other various businesses put up a flag by their offices. I've been placing various 911 ribbons/images (see way below) on my personal Websites, including my eBay About Me business Site. I even put on blue & red bows for Beau's topknot. Many children had a math break at school to draw pictures of their feelings and had some of their artwork displayed at malls (how difficult it must be to watch them familiarize themselves with 911, as well as their parents'/teachers' dilemmas to explain such an event to them). Many people around me refused to travel, particularly flying and would only do so as a necessity. Mail slowed. I basically avoided people in general to maintain my composure and to avoid witnessing any irrational infractions due to the pressures of the 911 aftermath.
As the days went by and America was slowly returning back to normal routine, I read that Arizona (central & south) eerily has had ties with the hijackers and even bin Laden. During the late '90s, some of the hijackers lived in the Phoenix area (central) and attended flight training school; one was a student at Arizona State University (ASU). bin Laden was said to have purchased a plane from a military base and was expecting somebody in Tucson (south) to pick it up for him. While many decent law-abiding Middle-Eastern / Middle-Eastern Americans reside in Phoenix due to probably being attracted to the desert that remind them of their homeland, since 911, crime has increased associated with them. Those with Middle-Eastern religious beliefs were advised to stay home for protection; some of their churches were vandalized, and some received threatening phone calls and signs outside. Many who attend ASU had been bullied on campus. One India mother on the local news expressed fear of walking across the street to take her children to school. One Middle-Eastern American was shot and killed at a gas station that he owned due to his dark complexion and wearing a turban. He was tending to his garden at the station. His killer was arrested and jailed. This type of redemption is unjustifiable.
The outpouring of love among us Americans have been so well-received. Many many stood in line and made appointments with the blood banks to donate blood, as well as donated large funds to various Disaster Aid organizations such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Firefighters Fund, designated booths set up by the local news etc. at malls and mortuaries, among many others. Corporates, philanthropists, and celebrities donated millions of dollars, as well as giving concerts & TV specials. TV & cable shows featured sympathy ads, eBay offered members to sell items and donate all proceeds to the Aid programs. I personally donated to the Central Arizona American Red Cross and even enclosed a check in a sympathy card. While there have been a positive outpouring of generosity, there have, ironically, been negative connotations that came along with it. Unscrupulous sources were claiming that they were part of a Disaster Aid program or that they're in charge of helping folks with any information on their loved ones killed in 911 by stealing their social security numbers (for purposes of identifying oneselves for the families or relatives killed, in order to qualify for Disaster funding) and using for their own desires. Urban legends and hoaxes abounded such as a picture of a face / Satan in the Tower smoke and a photo of a man standing at a Tower balcony posing for a picture with the hijacked plane about to approach the building to hit. Comedian host of TV's Politically Incorrect was criticized for calling the U.S. military 'cowardly', causing a couple of sponsors to pull their support for his show. Spokepersons called it bad timing and never funny. He publicly apologized (without sponsorship help) and stated that he should've said it in a different way than he intended to. In short, be aware of who to send money to and who to give personal information to, and what to believe out there in general. Whenever you're unsure, stick with renowned reputables.
Today, I am relaxed and back to my usual routines and my hobbies. I was working on my dollhouse shadowboxes and scrapbooking that I couldn't finish right after 911 because I'd feel funny doing something for fun too soon, while they're out there searching for the bodies in the NYC & DC piles of rubble. The local news reported a segment on a scrapbooking store where the staff said that many people bought many patriotic items, where they planned to make pages about 911. However, during that weekend, whenever I needed an escape from the Breaking News, I'd watch comedies on cable TV's Nick at Nite such as 1970s The Jeffersons and Three's Company. And, HGTV (who suspended regular programming for 24 hours) and HBO. Even Disney channel. Cable provides relief from regular TV channels that were still interrupted by Breaking News. I read library magazines that I check out monthly. I've seen personal lives in others adjust...church / synagogue / temple attendance have increased and many relationships have either been strengthened or severed. Americans either became closer to God to help via prayers or questioned where He was during this mess. I've always been extremely close to God; I was raised Catholic and very devoted to my now-deceased dad, who was devout. I never question Him or stray from Him. Beau my Shih Tzu dog and Rudy my new Persian kitty have been the source of comfort. I also wonder if any animal was hurt during 911? I haven't heard anything about it except that ASPCA of New York had been involved as one of the Aids on the premises. Or, if many have been left widowed/orphaned? Let's not forget about them either. It seems so neat to be an animal and not know what's going on with the world. They think the world and life are Heaven. How about that. We, in mankind, have so much to contend with, with our smarts but the damage in our lives have been done and so, in nature, we move on...
Useful e-mail letter and site links sent to me: (snip)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marshall Brain) Date: Thu, Sep 13, 2001, 7:55pm (MST+3) To: KarenCatalioto@webtv.net Subject: Newsletter: September 11 Tragedy
September 11, 2001 will be remembered as one of the most horrific and unbelievable days ever experienced in the United States. The events of this day certainly affect every American, and likely will affect every person in the world in some way.
Everyone at HowStuffWorks expresses their deepest sympathy to the families of the victims in this tragedy. Approximately 2,400 people were killed at Pearl Harbor, and the September 11 tragedy is likely to exceed that.
Three new articles at How Stuff Works help to understand exactly what has happened this week:
How Terrorism Works - A concise overview on both domestic and international terrorism that helps you understand the range of terrorist activity.
How Osama Bin Laden Works - His name has been in the news constantly as a likely suspect. Learn who he is and what he has against the U.S.
September 11, 2001 - Answers common questions about the events on Tuesday, including "What happened when?" and "Why were these explosions so powerful?"
These other articles also contain information that may be useful in understanding the events of this week:
How Black Boxes Work
How Skyscrapers Work
How Nuclear Bombs Work
How Cruise Missiles Work
How NATO Works
How Blood Types Work
How Cell Phones Work
How Building Implosions Work
How Airport Security Works
How Emergency Rooms Work
The style of HowStuffWorks is generally upbeat, and that style does not fit the somber mood of the nation at this time. For that mismatch I apologize, but I hope that these articles are useful to you if you are looking for information related to this tragedy.
• Your page is very well written.
I know what you mean about feeling a wee bit guilty about doing something pleasurable; while sadness abounds. I think it will get a little easier each passing day. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Rusty
• You have great 911 site.
I really like it. Eridene
• Very nice info and news (911)
page, I voted. bud
• Wow thar was really full of heart.
Like the graphics and it loaded fast too.
Good Job Mark
• your words make a lot of pictures come to light Free
• I Think You Have Done an Excellent job On Your 911 site.I Looked at every Photo
Which by the way Loaded very Fast,And
Looked very Clear,I Was Especially Moved by Your Introduction (Your Very First Page) I can see you are A Very Loving and caring Person I Highly commend you For Taking the Time And All your Effort To Give Tribute To Our
Country And All Those We Lost, Great
Job Karen!!!! God Bless You & Yours
• I have visited your site the other day, and signed your Guest book and added a link to my site. Great site. Good Job. Jackie
I purchased the above 2 wood-mounted rubber stamps honoring 911, made by The Stampin' Place in Minnesota (excellent service), via mail-order.
Also, I purchased a 'patriotic ribbon' wood-mounted rubber stamp, made by Stampendous (based in California), where I purchased at a local stamping store.
However, here's a simple ribbon design...
...911 ribbon wood-mounted rubber stamp (artist unknown), being sold via eBay.com auction.
Here's a nice wood-mounted rubber stamp made by artist D.[Doris] Morgan for Stamps Happen (California), being sold also via eBay.com auction by 'razray' (whom I purchased for a different item that I won). It reads: "Through this storm...we do not walk alone"
"We need to return to normal routines, so I went shopping..."
Sept. 18, 2001
Cartoon drawn by Mike Luckovich, a '95 Pulitzer Prize winner, at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspapers (ajc.com). This cartoon is also printed on page 205 in the 2002 Chicken Soup for the Soul OF AMERICA book, where I found at the local library.
Drawn by Matt Decker of the Lebanon [Missouri] Daily Record newspapers (lebanondailyrecord.com).
"...We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail." ~ President George W. Bush to the American people, on September 20, 2001.
SEPTEMBER 11TH, RAINBOW BRIDGE On the morning of Septemer 11, 2001, there was an unprecedented amount of activity at the Rainbow Bridge. Decisions had to be made. They had to be made quickly. And, they were. An issue, not often addressed here, is the fact that many residents really have no loved one for whom to wait. Think of the pups who lived and died in hideous puppy mills. No one on earth loved or protected them. What about the many who spent unhappy lives tied in backyards? And, the ones who were abused. Who are they to wait for? We don't talk about that much up here. We share our loved ones as they arrive, happy to do so. But we all know there is nothing like having your very own person who thinks you are the most special pup in the Heavens. Last Tuesday morning a request rang out for pups not waiting for specific persons, to volunteer for special assignment. An eager, curious crowd surged excitedly forward, each pup wondering what the assignment would be. They were told by a solemn voice hat unexpectedly, all at once, over 4,000 loving people had left Earth long before they were ready. All the pups, as all pups do, felt the humans' pain deep in their own hearts. Without hearing more, there was a clamoring among them - "May I have one to comfort?" "I'll take two. I have a big heart." "I have been saving kisses forever." One after another they came forward begging for assignment. One cozy-looking fluffy pup hesitantly asked, "Are there any children coming? I would be very comforting for a child 'cause I'm soft and squishy and I always wanted to be hugged." A group of Dalmations came forward asking to meet the Firemen and be their friends. The larger working breeds offred to greet the Police Officers and make them feel at home. Little dogs volunteered to do what they do best, cuddle and kiss. Dogs who on Earth had never had a kind word or a pat on the head, stepped forward and said, "I will love any human who needs love." Then all the dogs, wherever on Earth they originnaly came rom, rushed to the Rainbow Bridge and stood waiting, overflowing with love to share - each tail wagging an American Flag.