WORDS FROM OUR READERS - The Day Of Terror - September 11, 2001

(09/15/2001)

We are encouraging our readers to express their thoughts, feelings and opinions about our national tragedy. If you have not done so, please e-mail us at bob@hurherald.com or FAX at 304-354-6183 or snail mail at HC65-Box 120, Mt. Zion WV 26151.

I teach sociology and psychology classes at both Fairmont and Glenville state colleges. I have students of all ages in my classes.

My younger students do not seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation. It is almost as if they are desensitized to violence. Others are fearful for their future and are feeling that they won't have a future. The older male students want revenge, they want to bomb someone and be done with it.

I try to encourage my students to be critical thinkers and to be creative in dealing with problems. I tell them that terrorism is different and that retaliation just brings about more violence and the loss of more innocent lives. I encourage them to look at themselves and if they fear or hate something, they need to try to understand why. They need to learn about the values and beliefs of those they view as "different. "or maybe even fear and hate.

One female student said, "well, how would YOU handle it?" In my business as a licensed professional counselor, sometimes I encounter a difficult problem with a client and I do not know how to proceed. So, I go to the text books, I make calls to colleagues and former professors from graduate school, etc. until I feel secure in knowing that I have the tools to proceed to a workable solution.

There are experts in the field of terrorism. After other terrorist attacks, a commission was appointed to study terrorism and come up with solutions. These experts were interviewed after the attack and I could hear the immense frustration they were feeling in their voices. They feel we as Americans have become too secure and complacent. They feel there is an increased need for greater security, especially in airports. They also believe that we need to treat terrorists as we would any other criminal who attacks and causes the death of innocent people. We try them for their crimes and punish them according to our laws. And most importantly, we need to try to understand the mind of the terrorist.

I have always believed that sometimes it takes a tragedy to get people to come together. It is comforting to see people helping each other without thought to race, religion, sexual orientation etc. We must appreciate diversity and try to exercise TOLERANCE. That might be a start to finding a peaceful solution.

I don't know if you want to use this in your paper, but you have my permission to use all or part. I just wanted to share the thoughts and reactions of some of my students...Helen Woodyard M.Ed., C.R.C., L.P.C.

Hi Bob,

For the past 13 years I have flown over 250,000 miles on American and foreign carriers I return to the US each year from Japan, which includes international flights with domestic connections; also, I make two or three flights per year to Hiroshima, Taiwan, Korea, or other places in the western pacific. There has never been a flight in which I did not feel my own mortality, but I accepted the risk based on the fact that air travel is "the safest" form of transportation.

I believe that these terrorist acts in NYC and Washington have added a new dimension of fear and concern to every citizen that flies, attends a professional arts or sporting event, visits a major city, utilizes other public transportation, or attends a large social event. Our confidence in the power of our democracy has left us complacent about the dangers that really exist.

That time is gone forever! We need to employ trained flight Marshals on major flights both domestic and international. The cockpit of airliners needs to be locked and sealed and this armed and trained Marshal will assume responsibility for what goes on outside of those doors. The people that work in ground security need to be federal employees (not just employed by the individual airlines) whom are adequately trained in the detection weapons of submission and destruction.

I am proud of the heroes on that flight that crashed near Pittsburgh and the overwhelming display of patriotism and altruism that has been shown in NYC. May God Bless America and I pray that the perpetrators will be brought to justice and the fear of God will be placed in the hearts and minds of all of the terrorists organizations on the earth...Your Cousin in Japan, Jim Weaver

First of all my thoughts and prayers go out to all family and friends of the victims, and to all of New York. Second to the family and friends of the victims who went down in the plane in Pennsylvania, they are true heroes and true Americans. We will never know how many lives they saved by giving their own lives by fighting back and crashing the plane. To me they showed the terrorist what America is all about together we stand. We will stand and stand tall and we will fight back.

And now to the Military my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you, I know you have a long and uncertain time ahead of you but I know you will do your best you always have. And as for justice I for one believe very much in justice, BLOW OSAMA bin LADEN AND ALL HIS BACKERS ALL THE WAY TO HELL...Debbie Mckown

On September 11, 2001 the United States of America was given a wake up call. It is time for prayer and worship to be brought back to our schools and public places. I have been told I can't voice my opinions of my religion at work. I thought we lived in a free country where we could speak our minds and worship our Great Heavenly Father. I am asking that everyone get up a petition to bring back prayer in our schools and public places, to be able to celebrate Christmas and Easter as it is suppose to be celebrated. To be able to speak about God at work and school without loosing our jobs or being kicked out of school. It is now the time to fight for our country and for our right to worship when and where we please. God Bless Us All...Angela (Hall) Nation

As I went to Calhoun Middle School this morning to pick up my son because school was letting out early, I heard the school band playing patriotic music coming from the school Gym.

I walked into the Gym and what a sight it was! Every student, teacher, and employee of the school was there in remembrance of what happened on Tuesday. The American Flag was being held by the football team and the principal asked each person to stand for a moment of silent meditation as one loan trumpet played taps. It truly brought me to tears.

My husband, son, and I moved here to Grantsville, from Florida several months ago. We lived in a town with a population of about 250,000. It has truly been quit a culture shock especially to me, moving to a small community such as Grantsville and the surrounding area. The people are much more friendly here and they seem to truly care about each other. The community spirit here is by far greater than anywhere else I have ever been.

I was born and raised in Florida, spending all my life there until we came here. People have been very gracious to us and here, 4 1/2 months after I've moved here, I feel that I have been here all my life.

As I strolled down Main Street this morning, I could not believe how everyone was rushing to hang their flags, banners (God Bless America), and ribbons. The spirit here in this small town rivals even the largest cities in America.

I spoke with my sister in Florida this morning who was in the middle of facing a tropical storm which was close to hurricane status. It wasn't pretty down there either.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone from the First Baptist Church of Grantsville for welcoming my family graciously into their church. I could not ask for a better church to attend. Given light of the things that have happened this week in New York City, our nations capital, and down in Florida, it makes me really stop to think about all the things that I have been complaining about recently, how completely trivial they are. I THANK GOD with all my heart and soul that my family is here in Grantsville, safe and sound. I am truly glad I'm here...Linda Simmons

We have been a protected society. That is the reality of our current situation. Today I attended a noon prayer service at our church, Clarksburg Baptist Church. If those responsible for this expected to drive a wedge between the American people they have failed. There were between 300 and 400 at the noon service, most not members of our church, and many without any church affiliation.

What an opportunity to spread the news of Jesus Christ. As everyone else, I really wonder what the future holds for us. Only God knows and He is the one we need to put our trust in. Those who have gone before us fought to give us our freedom. We need to remember that and respect their memory. GOD BLESS AMERICA and give us the each the courage and knowledge to know what to do... Gary Nicholas CCHS '64

For a long time this disease called terrorism has been a boil on the butt of the world, and finally I feel like it will be removed. Most of the world wants unity and peace, only a few resist, and now we have the support of the world in getting rid of those who resist. I feel totally confident that these trouble makers and murderers will be removed from our lovely planet, and I think God will be rooting us on.

The Bible says everything has a time under heaven, including a time for war. If they don't want to get with the peace and cooperation program, I say we get rid of them. I consider all those who lost their lives to be heroes, firefighters, police, EMT's, and civilians. I think they all deserve to be honored and remembered forever, and big hugs to all those who have experienced loss from this tragedy. May you be blessed, and may the angels wrap their wings around you and bring you comfort... Renee Verbus

I believe that as Americans we should stand together at our time of crisis. I also believe that the guilty should be held accountable for their actions. I do not hold a grudge for the innocent nor will I teach my sons to. I will teach my sons that as Americans we shall respect and honor our fellow Americans, as well as our fellow nations, that they should always remember September 11, 2001 as a day of mourning for "innocent fellow Americans that died, by the hands of a coward". I hope to send my condolences to all the families that have lost loved ones from this horror, and also to send my praise to the ones that are risking their lives to help find survivors...Brenda Bell