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Emma Swinneyof Henderson, NV
It's difficult to know where to begin.
I'm over 80 years old, and it seems so much has happened, that I can recall. I think the first great day in my memory was of Lindberg's flight. I even talked my father into taking me to see him. Then the depression, traveling to far places for work, going to school in Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Missouri, those unusual times in a child's life stay in the memory.
But the worst times also. Pearl Harbor, just after becoming engaged. My fiance, was not in the draft because of disablities, and was frozen on his job as a pharmaceudical manufacturer, making medicines for the U.S. Service.
We lost many friends in the war. My best friend's husband was in Germany when her son was born. When the war was over, good times came, many jobs, my two children; Scouts, Camp Fire girls, PTA, parades, Fairs, all the best of middle America.
So today, I fear that my grandchildren, great-, and great-great- ones, may never have the security we felt, until this is put behind us. And that may take a long, long time.
I am learning all I can about Islam, the Mid East, and Southern Asia.
I'm looking inward, keeping silence as much as possible and focusing on the deep meaning of all of this for me personally as well as for our nation. The Bill Moyers interviews have been wonderfully helpful. Also Peter Jennings answering children's questions was informative and gave hope for the future.
I'm in prayer more often now that we can learn, and make meaningful this tragic event. Our community has had a memorial service, churches open for prayer and our Methodist Church is offering a program on Islam. I am also feeling great sadness and a hope we don't just return to "normal" but find a greater depth in ourselves. Beauty is in each day still. God Bless us all.
Diane Pittman of Pittsburgh, PA
To Bill Moyers:
Thank you, thank you, for mentioning us agnostics and atheists during your interview with Diana Eck. You're right! We do feel absolutely shoved aside in the holy rush. There is progress, to be sure: at one time, 'diversity' meant Protestants AND Catholics, now it's Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims. But I feel entirely left out of the national debate because I have no cleric to speak for me.
Those of us who believe in no personal god, who see that when a person dies, they're just simply gone and will never be again, find this sudden, enormous loss of life that much more tragic than those with some belief in an afterlife; atheism can make one value every human life more, not less. The news services give platform to theists of all stripes, but as a Humanist, I'm left out of the 'inclusive' discussions, with no public channel to express my private sorrow.
Linda of Orlando, FL
One week after the attacks, I'm still in shock -- and still don't sleep well at night.
Several of my business contacts in NY are either missing or confirmed dead. I miss them so very much -- we'd complain about having a "really bad day" and looked forward to the next time we got together. The last really bad day was Sept 11, 2001 - I'll never complain again.
To add insult to injury as I'm watching the news from our trading room, I hear the Pentagon is attacked. I thought I misunderstood at first. My cousin (who's name I cannot post) was on duty at the Pentagon. It's the first time in my life I ever thought I would faint.
He survived and, although he's still in serious condition, we think he will live -- although not the way he would want.
This has changed my life forever. It's changed the way I think, but mostly, it's changed the way I will live. There will be sacrifices on the part of U.S. Citizens, but I think we can all get focused and do it. God Bless America and All Our Rescue Workers.
Mary of Rochester, NH
I turned on the TV and there it was -- this fireball at the World Trade Tower. Then the second plane and a second fireball. My hand went over my mouth and all I could say was "Oh God, Oh God." It finally happened in my lifetime. War had come to our soil.
We can no longer look at the terrorism, war, genocide, and human tragedy we've become so immune to on television and think "That's over there." It's here.
I find myself, a child of the Vietnam era, suddenly becoming patriotic. This is my land, I claim it and want to protect it as I never did before in my life. The terrors of the rest of the world have come home...
E. Berke of Brookline, MA
As far as I know, I personally know no one who was lost in these tragedies. Maybe I do -- maybe the guy who sat next to me in English class was there, maybe a girl from my freshman dorm 11 years ago. I feel like every one of them is a member of my family and I would like to know them better. I'm sure that if a direct member of my family was lost, I would want the world to know them as more than one of thousands lost.
I propose that one or all of the networks dedicate a day of programming to honoring the dead and missing individually...
Linda Molatore of Portland, OR
We have all been shocked by this evil tragedy...but now, one week later, people here are trying to resume a type of normalcy in work and play. Some of this is good, with our flag held high, but I see the underlying sadness in the eyes of the adults around me, as there should be for a long time.
I find myself wishing to know the stories of others' reactions worldwide. I'm not ready to just do "business as usual" and just go on.
Along with finding comfort in prayer and working with my students, I'm finding websites featuring international condolences/reactions, and this is very helpful to me...
Mary Alice Bernardin of Harvard, IL
It's a time of paradigm shifts for the world. Changing tragic events into new ways of being and thinking. Hate doesn't work, violence doesn't work, revenge doesn't work. How about re-showing Bill Moyers' show with Huston Smith on Islam. The country needs to know the real beliefs of the Islam. We all laugh and cry in the same language.
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PBS will provide nightly coverage and analysis of the terrorist attacks on the United States with "America Responds."
Check local listings.
Key PBS Resources:
Ongoing coverage and analysis.
PBS Kids Resources for Parents
Helping children cope.
Educators, find lesson plans and recommended resources.