Children’s Books and Pat Robertson

Husband said I should start recording Sarah’s awful jokes here. I can’t remember any of them because they don’t make sense. We bought her a joke book, and now she’s reading them to us. Well, mostly to Steve, because he has more patience for that sort of thing. She was reading them to baby Maggie a while ago. Maggie sure does love her big sissy.

We were looking around the bookstore, I was trying to impose my reading tastes on my daughter. I kept dragging out these books that I read as a kid, but she didn’t want to buy them. You know — the Beverly Cleary books, Howliday Inn, Bunnicula, Freckle Juice. I even tried to get her to get started on the American Girls and Pony Pals, which weren’t around when I was a kid. I kept grabbing books off the shelf. Oh, remember that one! This one was wonderful. The Boxcar Children.

In my opinion, if you don’t still ocasionally read children’s books, you’re missing out. I just started the first Harry Potter book. It is wonderful so far. And so many great kids’ books didn’t even get published until I was an adult: Catherine, Called Birdy and The Midwife’s Apprentice, both by Karen Cushman, are perfect examples. I didn’t finish the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander until I was an adult. I also didn’t read Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence until I was an adult. I have read lots of really good kids books. My novel is a young adult novel, and I read some books for market research, but honestly, I just really enjoy them.

I still haven’t made my birthday cake. I think I’m going to have to, because I really want something sweet, and we don’t have any cookies.

I watched David Letterman and Conan O’Brien. Both very moving. Dan Rather broke down twice — on camera! Wow. That was amazing. Both hosts looked so stricken. I usually watch Jay Leno, but I really have been wanting to watch Dave to see how they’re holding up over there in New York. I think Dave was right — Rudolph Giuliani has handled this thing — there just aren’t words. He’s just been incredible.

Whoever would have thought New York and Washington D.C. would be war zones? Never in my wildest imagination did I think it would happen. I grew up scared nuclear war was imminent. I used to have nightmares about it. But the attacks were so much more personal — they took our planes, filled with our people, and crashed them into our buildings filled with our people. They didn’t just push a button and send a missile. I’m not saying that wouldn’t have been bad, but it wouldn’t have felt as personal. I just don’t understand it. Still. I hope I never will. But I am very proud of America. We have surely discovered how much we love each other and how much we need each other. I’m proud of the way so many Americans have stepped up and become heroes.

On a related note, I didn’t get a personal reply from Pat Robertson. Instead, he sent me a copy of his press release. If you ask me, he’s a damned coward and a sorry excuse for a Christian. Jerry Falwell has yet to write me back. I want to go on record as saying the response I got was utter bullshit, but I’ll let you judge for yourself. Here is the text of Robertson’s “reply”:

Pat Robertson Addresses Comments Made By Jerry Falwell
September 17, 2001
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., September 17, 2001 — On Thursday of last week, as The 700 Club continued its coverage of the tragic attack on the World Trade Center by radical extremists, Pat Robertson not only was reporting the news, but was also asking his audience to pray for the survivors and their families, as he had been doing for the previous two days. In addition, he personally issued a statement that indicated that the church and all of America should come in repentance before God so that He would not lift the protective covering that has graced our land since its founding. Toward the end of the program, The 700 Club producers had booked Jerry Falwell for a satellite interview. Rev. Falwell’s initial remarks were completely in accord with what had been said in preceding parts of the program, and then, unexpectedly, he uttered a political statement of blame directed at certain segments of the population that was severe and harsh in tone, and, frankly, not fully understood by the three hosts of The 700 Club who were watching Rev. Falwell on a monitor. It was this brief interchange with Rev. Falwell that was picked up by People For The American Way, who for approximately the past fifteen years have taped every single telecast of The 700 Club and unfortunately take statements out of context and spin them to the press for their own political ends. Rev. Falwell has issued a pointed clarification of his statement, and Dr. Robertson said on Fox News’ The Edge that he considered the remarks “totally inappropriate.” He does not wish to comment further on something that is not personally in keeping with the spirit of prayer and sorrow that has been evidenced by the staff of the Christian Broadcasting Network over the past several days.

Jerry Falwell Apologizes
By Jerry Falwell
September 18, 2001

Jerry Falwell Ministries — Last Thursday during an appearance on the 700 Club, in the midst of the shock and mourning of a dark week for America, I made a statement that I should not have made and which I sincerely regret. I apologize that, during a week when everyone appropriately dropped all labels and no one was seen as liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, religious or secular, I singled out for blame certain groups of Americans. This was insensitive, uncalled for at the time, and unnecessary as part of the commentary on this destruction. The only label any of us needs in such a terrible time of crisis is that of ‘American.’

I obviously did not state my theological convictions very well and I stated them at a bad time. During the difficult weeks ahead there will be much discussion about the judgment of God. It is a worthy discussion for all of us at a time when we are reminded of the fleeting nature of life itself, but it is a complicated discussion. I do not know if the horrific events of September 11 are the judgment of God, but if they are, that judgment is on all of America — including me and all fellow sinners — and not on any particular group. My statements were understandably called divisive by some, including those whom I mentioned by name in the interview. This grieves me, as I had no intention of being divisive.

In conclusion, I blame no one but the hijackers and terrorists for the barbaric happenings of September 11. We know, as Abraham Lincoln anguished in his second inaugural address, that “The Almighty has his own purposes,” but as he said, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Pat Robertson’s Statement Regarding Terrorist Attack
September 14, 2001

We must ask God to send a mighty, powerful revival in the midst of His people. — America has enjoyed unprecedented peace and prosperity throughout its history. Though we have been involved in wars on our own soil — the last was the Civil War — the United States of America has not experienced the anguish of invasion by a foreign power since the War of 1812. We have imagined ourselves invulnerable and have been consumed by the pursuit of financial gain. The focus of many in America has been on the pursuit of health, wealth, material pleasures and sexuality. Sadly, those in the churches have been as self-indulgent as those in the world. We have allowed rampant pornography on the Internet, and rampant secularism and the occult, etc. to be broadcast on television. We have permitted somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-40 million unborn babies to be slaughtered by our society. We have court that has essentially stuck its finger in God’s eye and said, “We are going to legislate You out of the schools and take Your commandments from the courthouses in various states. We are not going to let little children read the commandments of God. We are not going to allow the Bible or prayer in our schools.” We have insulted God at the highest level of our government. Then, we say, “Why does this happen?” It is happening because God Almighty is lifting His protection from us. Once that protection is gone, we are vulnerable because we are a free society.

We lie naked before these terrorists who have infiltrated our country. There are probably tens of thousands of them in America right now. They have been raising money and preaching their hate. Overseas, they have been spewing out venom against the United States for years. All over the Arab world there is venom against America being poured into peoples’ minds, and the only thing that is going to sustain us is the umbrella power of Almighty God. That is the only thing that we have going for us. Yes, we can put up a nuclear shield, but they are not coming in with missiles. We can beef up marshals on airplanes, but then they will come in with car bombs. There is always some way they can get at us. The means of these rogue states are awesome. Yes, we will mobilize now and our country is moving together. But I want to say as firmly as I can, the Scripture for this time is — “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Now, I am filled with compassion. It just tears my heart when I think of the families of these suffering. But I want to say as surely as I am sitting here today, this is only a foretaste, a little warning, of what is going to happen. We have not seen the massive destruction of life in our urban centers that can take place with sarin gas and with the biological and chemical warfare that is available to these rogue people, not to mention, suitcase nuclear bombs that they probably have available as well. We must come back to God as a people. So what we say to you today is, if you are not right with God then get your life right with God. Think of the things in your life that are wrong. Think of the careless indifference. Think of the poor who you could have helped. Think of the Scripture you have ignored. Think of the time you should have been spending in prayer, when you were watching television or focusing on pornography or tuned into the Internet. Think of the things you have done in your own life and think of the indifference to the sin of this nation that you have just passed by and said, “Well, that is just the way it is. We have to have freedom.” Think of it! Don’t ask why did it happen. It happened because people are evil. It also happened because God is lifting His protection from this nation and we must pray and ask Him for revival so that once again we will be His people, the planting of His righteousness, so that He will come to our defense and protect us as a nation. That is what I want to see and why we say we must have revival. We must have a spiritual revival. The churches need to be full. We must pray for our pastors. We must pray for the churches. We must ask God to send a mighty, powerful revival in the midst of His people. That is what is needed for this land.

I want us to pray right now for America. I want us to pray for you and your families. I want us to pray particularly for those mothers, those fathers, those husbands and wives, those brothers and sisters who have lost loved ones. Their hearts are breaking right now. As they see this thing happen and they say “Why, Why?” And their hearts are broken. We may find that as many as 20,000 innocent civilians have been killed in this tragedy. We don’t know what the full number is yet. It may not be that high, but that is one estimate.

I didn’t paste his prayer here. The whole thing smacks of insincerity to me, especially when you consider how he has managed to turn “serving the Lord” into a profitable enterprise. The Press Release is ultimately meaningless, as he turned around and contradicted it on the message that followed Falwell’s. No wonder some people think all Christians are hypocrites. When these are the examples we hold up, I can’t blame them. We’re not all like that, folks. I promise.

Wish #4

“Write about the ghosts in your life. Those people, places and images that you just can’t seem to shake, that seem to cling on no matter what. I’m not talking in terms of real people you can’t get rid of, I’m talking in terms of what is left over from those who left or, perhaps, were never really there to begin with.”

Wow. I had to think about this one. I think I will address one ghost of each type.

People. There are a few people who haunt me. There was this girl named Mary from Virginia who moved to my school in the sixth grade. She had a Southern accent. She was nice. I was friendly to her. She asked me about Girl Scouts. I gave her information about my troop. Then I was confronted by another person who haunts me. Her name was Kim. She was “cool.” Popular. Liked. She had long, thick curly hair. Her mother was our troop leader. She didn’t like Mary. Thought she was a nerd. Why would I tell Mary about the troop? She wasn’t wanted. God, I had been in her shoes. I had been so unwanted. And Kim had been one of the ringleaders, one of the main ones who made me feel hated. Then, gradually, she sort of accepted me. Why I cared, I don’t know. So you see, I know what it felt like to be rejected. I had been there. I knew. And I didn’t want it to happen to me again. So even though I knew how it felt, I rejected Mary because Kim didn’t think she was cool. I treated Mary exactly how Kim had treated me. And for what? Kim was never nice to me unless it suited her. But Mary was nice to me just because. I’m very, very sorry, Mary, wherever you are. I don’t like what I did. I know how it feels to be treated that way. It really hurts, and I did it to you. There are others who used to haunt me, but haunt me no longer. But these two girls stay with me.

Places? I suppose that there are a few. One is the town where I attended college — Athens, GA. I loved that place. I had my haunts, some of which are now gone. The Spaghetti Store. This little coffee house on Broad Street — Espresso Royale. The main library on campus. The Tate Center. A water fountain surrounded by ancient wrought iron benches on North Campus. And my dorm room in Reed Hall. I really just loved the place, especially in the fall. One of the best falls I ever had was the fall I spent taking Southern Literature and Ballet, along with a couple of other courses. That place stays with me always. I think it is because many of my ancestors took root in Oglethorpe County, which is the next county over. Perhaps they came to Athens sometimes for various reasons. And perhaps they passed on their memories of the place in my DNA. Maybe that is why it feels more like home than anywhere I’ve ever lived. I really can’t think of another place that haunts me like that. There are places I remember, all my life….though some have changed. Some forever not for better, some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments, with lovers and friends….I still can recall, some are dead and some are living…. In my life, I’ve loved them all. (To quote the Beatles). There are other places, but none of them like Athens.

Images. Hmm… Perhaps the image of my sister dancing in the sun in my grandmother’s back yard. Or maybe the picture I carry in my mind of my cat. He consoled me when I was very sick in high school. He’s been dead for more than 10 years now — longer even than he lived. And if you want to talk really haunting images, then seeing planes fly into the World Trade Center towers will never leave my mind. That image will be more indelible, I think, than seeing the Space Shuttle explode.

My Birthday

So today was my birthday. Husband had to work, so I celebrated by taking my girls out to dinner. We went to Carrabba’s. Love that Chicken Bryan. Sarah had spaghetti. Had this weird waiter who looked at us funny. I suppose he took one look at us and thought, “bad tip.” Well, that is never the case with me unless it’s deserved. I used to be a waitress, so I know. We went to the mall and daughter Sarah wanted to push baby Maggie’s stroller. It was cute. Maggie loves riding in the stroller. We looked all over the mall for the thing I really wanted to buy myself — one of those mystery puzzles. Know what I mean? They have this mystery you have to solve as you put them together. Didn’t see any. That was disappointing. For some reason, that’s all I really wanted. So then I thought I might get this stained glass kit. I scratched that when I wound up in Bath and Body Works. I couldn’t decide between the Orange Blossom or the Tangerine Spice. I liked the smell of the Tangerine Spice better, but the Orange Blossom had bubble bath (Tangerine didn’t). So I got Country Apple. Hey, it is fall, right?

And speaking of fall, I felt the first crisp of autumn in the air today. It was glorious.

We capped off the celebration with a trip to Dairy Queen.

I was going to make myself a German chocolate birthday cake, but it is getting too late for that now. I’ll just make it tomorrow, maybe.

Once I got home, I found a link to a place where I could buy one of those mystery puzzles online: Wooden Horse Books. I got the Murder on the Titanic puzzle.

Thanks for the birthday greetings Dana, Straw, and Sonrisatuya. Very much appreciated. Wow. I’m 30. I remember when my mom turned 30. Does that make me old?

Well, I have nothing of moment to say. Things seem to be settling down again. I can’t really watch much besides the news (still) or listen to much besides talk radio. But I think I moving to a different stage in the grieving process. What are they? I’ll tell you where I am.

Well, Maggie is telling me she’s hungry…

Nearer, My God, to Thee

This is one of my favorite hymns, often sung at funerals, and legend has it the band played it as The Titanic sank.

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone.
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God to Thee.

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear, steps unto heav’n;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,
There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest;
Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee.

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

Lord, may all those who died in this tragedy be nearer, my God, to Thee. Amen.

More pictures from KiddoNet:

God bless America
Victims are Angels
United We Stand

One Nation, Indivisible

I didn’t think I was going to have time to write, but an accident of circumstance has allowed me time. First off, I want to extend my apologies and my hand in peace to MyRoom. I do not agree with your views, but one of the reasons America is such a great country is that we are allowed to disagree with our country’s leaders and policies without fear of reprisal. So we’ll agree to disagree, but I don’t think spreading anger is the answer, and that was my knee-jerk reaction.

I see the image of that plane crashing into that building every time I close my eyes. It is unreal. I feel very helpless. I kept thinking, while watching all of this, that I want to do something. I don’t have any money, but I think I will need to give something, anything. Even if it seems too small to help. Watching the firefighters and the police, I had a deep desire to join up, knowing full well I am not strong enough mentally or physically for the rigors of either job. I weigh 100 pounds soaking wet, and working for five hours lifting and moving wiped me out. There is no way I could be of any real help in one of those jobs. But I deeply, deeply admire those who do.

I get choked up. All the flags. All the flags at half-mast. It is beautiful. I dropped my older daughter off at her father’s house last night. He had his lights off and a single candle burning on his porch. He came to the door dressed in white pants, a blue shirt with white stars, and a red tie. It took me back a little. He has flown a flag in front of his house since he bought the house. It made me proud to know that. Don’t know why, but it did.

I talked to my sister the other day. My brother-in-law is fine. He is in Saudi, but he was able to contact her. Looks like war. We should go to war, I think. I am so proud of all my family members in the military right now. My family has a long history of military service. My ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. My great-grandfather was in the Army during World War I. My grandfather was in the Navy, the Sea-Bees, during World War II. One great-uncle served in the Army during World War II also. Another great-uncle served during the Korean War. My father was in Vietnam. Now my cousin and my brother-in-law are in the Air Force. I am so proud of them. Most likely they will be involved in the coming conflict. Of course I don’t want anything to happen to them, but the thought crosses my mind that one of them might die. Nathan Hale’s last words were, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” He was then hanged by the British as a spy. I know that my cousin and brother-in-law feel the same way. Hell, I feel that way. If it is necessary, then so be it. That must be how those men on Flight 93 felt. Mr. Jeremy Glick did not have his child with him, as I erroneously said in an earlier entry. Things like that get confusing until all the details are gathered. CNN did report that, but actually, he was going home and told his wife to take care of their child. His wife had told him about what happened to the World Trade Center. He knew what the hijackers were about to do. He knew he was about to die, but he willingly gave his life to save others.

I am proud of America. I admire our heroes. I love my country. Right now, I deeply, deeply appreciate our leaders. I did not vote for George Bush. The first thing I thought when this happened was that I was glad we had a Bush in the White House. I think he has done a superb job. He’s got my vote in 2004 unless he runs against Zell Miller. If that happens, I will really be stuck, because I love Zell. Not that Zell is talking about running for president. He should, but he hasn’t said he will, and frankly, I hope he stays in the senate for a while.

I keep thinking about my insignificant little problems. My life could be so much worse. All those poor families with pictures of their loved ones. They look shell-shocked. I don’t think I have even lost anyone I know, much less anyone I love. I thank God, but I also ask God to be with the families who have suffered loss. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are no different from Osama bin Laden. They, like him, think we had this coming because of our evil ways. They, like him, think God uses terrorists to wage holy war against the wicked. They are nothing but traitors. Here is a copy of the e-mail I sent Jerry Falwell (I sent a shortened version to Robertson because he only allows 10 lines of text):

Dear Mr. Falwell,

I think the comments you made on a recent airing of The 700 Club were unconscionable. Regardless of your feelings about the wickedness of some Americans, you poured salt into the open wound caused by the terrorists.

I am a Christian, but I heartily disagree with your statement. God loves all of us, even those of us you deem wicked – those of us you blamed for this atrocity.

In my opinion, you are no different from Osama bin Laden. You, like he, believe wicked Americans deserve to die. You, like he, believe that God uses terrorists as weapons in a holy war to punish wicked Americans.

You are nothing less than a traitor to your country. May God have mercy on you.

I told my husband I thought about my former students. Each morning, my school played “The Star-Spangled Banner” over the intercom. Then we said the Pledge of Allegiance. Some mornings, those kids didn’t say it. I was the teacher, the example, so I always said it loudly and proudly. But you know how teens are. Sometimes, patriotism isn’t “cool.” I’d be willing to bet that last Wednesday and every day since, the pledge was recited so loudly and proudly that it was stirring. And I’ll bet there were a few tears to wipe away, too.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Here are some pictures I found at KiddoNet. This is the tragedy through the eyes of our children. Our amazing children who offer to sell all of their toys to give money to the victims of this tragedy. Our amazing children who offer to give all of their allowance to the victims.
kayleighs are
“kayleighs are”
A day I will always remember
“A day I will always remember”

stateu of liberty hurts
“stateu of liberty hurts”

They're in heaven now!
“They’re in heaven now!”

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Stories from Witnesses

Omar Wasow
30, Internet executive

I was outside when the first building collapsed and just started running down the street. This billowing cloud of dust was chasing me. It was like that scene from Indiana Jones where he’s running from that boulder. I went into a building and noticed a guy was bleeding. He said he’d had surgery on his Achilles tendon and the big cut across the back of his ankle split open while he was running. He couldn’t walk, so this other gentleman and I carried him to a drugstore, and they gave us some antiseptic and bandages. The store had run out of face masks, so I pulled some women’s stockings from a rack and figured out how to make masks out of them. As we were leaving with him, the second building collapsed, and we started running while carrying him. It was terrifying because all these military planes were flying overhead. We got to this building where some nurses had set up a small medical station, but he was scared and saying, “Please don’t leave me.” It was heart-wrenching. We managed to find a wheelchair, so a nurse and I wheeled him five blocks away to an NYU medical center. I was walking behind him, and he kept asking, “Are you still there?” I think he was worried because he was totally at the mercy of strangers, and he wanted to be reassured. I had to part ways with him at the hospital, but at that point he realized he was in good hands. All I know is his name was Rob and he worked in health-care investments. He was about 35. It wasn’t a time to exchange business cards, so I can just hope that I cross paths with him again someday.

Lt. Gregg Hansson
37, a firefighter with Engine Company 24

After the first plane crash, we made our way into the building, and up the stairs to the 35th floor. A lot of people were self-evacuating. Everyone was very calm. Of course we didn’t know what we would find when we got further up. Then a person from the 90th floor came by and said, “The plane is up there.” We got reports to evacuate the building and started to do that. What actually transpired next, I really don’t know. Everything started to collapse. We all got covered with a lot of debris. You felt a hit and you felt a rush. I had no idea where it was coming from. There were still civilians in the building. We were trying to help them out. But at that point everything was dark and black, and you had to find your own way out.

I thought it was over. I thought I was going to die today. I started to say a little prayer and huddled in a corner and waited it out. Radio communications became almost nonexistent. I just heard silence. All I saw was black. I had lost my mask and search rope. We were exhausted from walking up 35 flights with all our equipment. When we got to the ground floor, I just tried to gather myself and crawl out of the building. Then eventually I saw a flashlight. I believe it might have been some Port Authority police officers.

Outside, I was trying to locate people, to see if I could account for everybody, to see who made it out and who was missing. It looked like a ghost town. I know I am very lucky. I think that had there not been that second plane, this might have been a clean operation. We won’t know anything for a while. We are praying.

Kenneth Johannemann
36, janitor at 1 World Trade Center

My shift is 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I’m always on time, but today I got lucky because I went on the 30th floor to get a cup of coffee. If I hadn’t gotten that cup of coffee, I would have gotten blown up on the elevator. I was waiting by the elevator to go do the restrooms, and then there was a big bang, and the whole building shook. The elevator door flew open, and a guy stumbled out, and he was badly burned up. It seemed like he was smoldering, almost.

He was a delivery guy. The skin from his wrist was hanging down past his fingertips. He was screaming all sorts of things like, “Bombing! Please get me out of here! I’m going to die!” I took him down the hallway right around the corner to my supervisor’s office. Me and another janitor grabbed the man and took him outside, one on each arm. There was an EMS truck already outside, and those guys just grabbed him and pushed us aside. I wish I knew what happened to him, but I have no idea. He was burned up bad but he was still alive. I really hope he survived.

Mark J. Heath
41, physician

I was working at my home when my wife called with the news. I knew I had to go help. I flagged down an ambulance and rode with them to the World Trade Center. I really didn’t see any casualties on the street. When we finally got set up, around two dozen people came to us. They had mostly broken bones, broken arms, cuts. No one was really saying anything; they were all mostly in shock. We took their medical histories, and we stabilized those who were injured so that they could be moved by ambulance uptown. I wish I could tell you we looked at hundreds of people and they all survived, but that didn’t happen.

After the second building came down, I could hear the firemen talking to each other on their radios. They were talking about going back into the 10 stories that were still standing. I thought it was incredibly brave.

By midday Tuesday, doctors at the Washington Hospital Center were in dire need of human skin transplants for seven burn victims of the Pentagon bombing. They contacted colleagues in Texas, the location of the closest, large available skin bank, who agreed to rush them 69 sq. ft. of frozen human skin.

Ellen Heck
61, director of the Transplant Services Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

We were told that nothing was flying except Defense Department flights. I spent a long time on the telephone trying to organize an Air Force transfer of the skin with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Texas National Guard, but we just couldn’t coordinate it. So I told the Washington burn center, “If we can’t get it there by plane and you need it badly, we’ll drive it up.” We packed the skin on dry ice and put it in our van. I asked who wanted to drive it, and these two guys were the first ones to raise their hands. They were in their scrubs, so we gave them an extra pair, a bag of peppermints and Tootsie Rolls, and made sure they had credit cards and cash.

Matthew Harris
29, medical technician

I’m at the wheel and I’m wide awake. I feel numb. Something strange has happened and you have to do something. You have to help. I’m shocked, and I’m angry. But this is what I’m able to do — dropping everything and traveling 1,328 miles for something desperately needed.

Eddie Perryman
28, medical technician

We stored the skin in foil pouches on liquid nitrogen and then put it on dry ice. We had three huge Styrofoam coolers in the back. Once we stopped in Little Rock, we checked the dry-ice levels. We stopped at the nearest hospital if it began to evaporate. The most we’ve ever driven was a few hours to deliver skin and corneas. But we printed a map off the Internet. It said this was 22 to 28 hours, depending on traffic. We went slightly over the speed limit, but within safety. I’ve always wanted a chance to help. Unfortunately it came at a time like this.

These stories were taken from People Online.

We All Lost Brothers and Sisters

I’m cutting and pasting a commentary from John Powers’ diary here:

THE UNITED STATES – an Editorial

This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.

America: The Good Neighbor.

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

“This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I’d like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don’t they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles.

You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon — not once, but several times — and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don’t think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I’m one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those.”

Stand proud, America!

“This is one of the best editorials that I have ever read regarding the United States. It is nice that one man realizes it. I only wish that the rest of the world would realize it. We are always blamed for everything and never even get a thank you for the things we do.

I would hope that each of you would send this to as many people as you can and emphasize that they should send it to as many of their friends until this letter is sent to every person on the web. I am just a single American that has read this. I SURE HOPE THAT A LOT MORE READ IT SOON.”

Original and quoted comments by:

-John Fernald
Principal Hardware Engineer
Cisco Systems, Inc.

Note: The original link to this commentary can be found here. Thanks to Sandy for the link.

So America should consider revising its policies and stances? What if we did? Many deride us for wanting to be the policeman of the world. Well, looks to me like the world could use a good cop sometimes, no? It makes me sick to my stomach that ANYONE would celebrate this tragedy. They should go to the deepest, darkest part of hell and ROT for eternity.

Read Dana’s entry, with a column by Leonard Pitts.

Thank you Strawburygrl, for letting me know about the daycare center. I am/have been thinking so much about all the victims of this tragedy, but especially of the children that were killed. A two-year-old on one plane. A four-year-old. A two-month-old, traveling with its father on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. The father called his family on a cell phone and took a poll among the men on board. And they voted to overpower the hijackers. Did they succeed? Is that why the plane crashed where it did? We may never know, but think of the sacrifice if they indeed did this. This man not only sacrificed himself, but also his infant child to prevent more American deaths.

Lots of people lost loved ones. Last night, I lay sleepless in bed, thanking God I had my family within the walls of my home. So many people cannot say the same. Children lost parents. Parents lost children. Husbands lost wives. Wives lost husbands. We all lost brothers and sisters.

God, God, God

God, I just don’t know what to say. All my little problems and fears seem so insignificant. My two babies are sleeping nearby on the couch. Steve is snoring in the bedroom. And I am transfixed by the news. Everyone close to me is safe. I don’t know of anyone on the planes or in those buildings that I lost. But thousands of people can’t say that. And I cry for them. Steve looked up which businesses were in the World Trade Center buildings. God, did you know there was a day care center in one of them? Probably run for the employees who worked there. The pictures look like footage from the end of the world. Strawburygrl, I can guarantee that no American airline pilot would have steered a plane into those buildings. Your husband is very right that they pilots were probably dead or otherwise overpowered. I can tell you myself I would have let the assholes kill me before I would steer a plane into a building like that. Anyone would. Those people that died in the plane crash in Pennsylvania are no more heroes than any of the other crew and passengers on the other planes. I believe in my heart that each crew member and passenger did what they were able to do to stop this tragedy, including calling emergency officials and airline offices on their cell phones. One flight attendant said they killed her whole crew. She somehow managed to radio or phone the airline. Do not be misled. The people who hijacked those planes were militant fanatics bent on dying for their cause.

New Yorkers running from debris and later walking dumbly out of the city. Surreal. Thousands of people everywhere clogging Red Cross centers to donate blood, many even before they were asked.

I hope my dad was able to get something to eat today. He works on an Air Force base and wasn’t allowed to leave. They had vending machines, I guess. He never e-mailed me back. He probably couldn’t. I hope my brother-in-law is okay. I’m getting off the line to call my sister and offer her support. My cousin is also in the Air Force. I wonder if he was able to go home. Probably not. He assists a general.

God, God, God.

Shock, Reflection, and Prayer

What can be said? This is chaos. Madness. When things like this happen, it feels like the world is ending. My dad, who works on an Air Force Base, is in lock-down. He is unable to receive or make calls, and he can’t leave. My brother-in-law, who is in the Air Force, is somewhere in Saudi right now. My sister must be frantic, but she’s all the way around the world and all I have is her e-mail.

My daughter came home today and said that they told her criminals broke the planes and made them crash into buildings. They must have assured the kids that their homes are safe.

Poetical said “let there be a purpose for this,” in my guestbook. There is not a purpose for this senselessness.

Dana said her students didn’t understand why people in the Middle East were cheering. Why do they hate us so much? Fucking crazy assholes. I don’t care how that sounds. It is how I feel. They are truly evil. I really hope and pray that we find out who did it. Not that they can be punished for what they did — there is no punishment to fit this crime. But I’m sure they’ll be punished ten-fold in hell.

Prayer: Lord, at times like this, we don’t understand our fellow human beings. We don’t understand why they do the things they do. We don’t understand the evil in men’s hearts. Please be with the victims of this tragedy and their families. Please help them through this ordeal. Please send angels in whatever form to help them. Please send them a shoulder to lean on. I’m not even sure what to pray for, Lord. But you know the need, and you will provide. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.