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Mary of Charlemont, MA
Yesterday President Bush made a speech in which he encouraged us all to get back to normal. I understand the logic and the sentiment behind that statement, and yet I find myself filled with frustration. I'd love to get back to normal, and in fact it ought to be a lot easier for me than for so many others. My family's all alive, my friends have been checking in safe and sound (although some with harrowing stories to tell). All set, right? Back to normal, right?
Wrong.... That's the wrong thing to say, and that's not how I can cope. I can't "get back" to a "normal" that's forever lost. I can only go on. That's what I'm good at, what WE'RE good at. Adapt, change, find a new way. Get on with life. And the life we get on with, will eventually become normal for us. But it will be different from what we had before. We won't be getting BACK to what "normal" was last Monday, not ever.
Alan of Seattle, WA
The biggest tragedy that can come from this act of terrorism is making Americans suspicious of each other. We must see each other as Americans, with different backgrounds and different views. We must be aware of suspicious actions, not suspicious groups taken by looks alone.
My grandfather was jailed during World War I for preaching in a German community in North Dakota in the German language, merely for sounding like the enemy we were fighting an ocean away at that time. We had the fear of association then; we need to fight the fear of association now.
We need to embrace every American of every faith and background. We need to root out evil and terror. We need justice -– not vengeance. We need to remember that this was not a group or religious action. It was an evil action. We need to address this together as all Americans and we will be stronger for it
Johanna Turner of Washington, DC
Stranded in post-attack airline shutdowns, my husband drove home to Washington, DC from Reno, Nevada. For five days, each of us had been coping in our own ways, alone. Now we follow each other from room to room, unwilling to let the other out of sight.
He cries too easily, he thinks, and he sits and stares a lot. I am just grateful to have this man who knows and loves me so well to cry with, someone who knows that life is precious and family is the greatest gift and God is there in the goodness of willing hearts. I watch the people who live alone on my street and talk to single friends on the phone; the thought of their aloneness is heavy.
Saddest yet: the aching void in thousands of homes this week, where Moms and Dads and siblings and children will not come through the door to hold and cry and love those who remain back to wholeness.
Paula Loggins of Canton, GA
On Saturday night we attended a candlelight service at Hobgood Park that was organized by a 15-year-old girl who just needed to "do something." It was a nice serivce with good attendance. I also needed to "do something" and we truly enjoyed the service. We salute the young lady who organized the service and her parents who helped her pull it all together. God Bless America.
Donna M. Georgescu of Nashville, TN
I watched the events take place on the TV in my workplace breakroom. I saw the smoke of the first plane and watched the second one hit. I didn't understand what I had seen.
Since then, I have wept: profusely at times; at others, a stubborn tear, stuck in the corner of my eye, angry, not wanting to drop and flow down my cheek. I was a little embarassed at my weakness...you know ...so far away and all...I shared this feeling with a co-worker...I said "I feel like a weiner. I thought I would feel stronger." My colleaugue granted me "one weinee day." I have taken it and more...
I am sure my public and private tears are the right thing. I know there will come a day, my turn to be stone...and because I have been softened to limpness in my soul these days, I'll be able to be the "strong one" at another time and place. (Even my tears have given others "permission" to cry.) So you may know, Red Cross has seen us all volunteering, blood, sweat and many many tears.
Robin of Harrisonburg, VA
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, everything about my world changed. I was no longer in such a hurry I could not hold the door for the person coming behind me. If a friend or neighbor called just to talk, I had the time. When someone needed a hug, I had time to give it to them. Although it was the most horrifying day I have ever witnessed, it also brought love and generosity not only in the United States, but throughout the world. I have never felt so proud of my country or most of mankind. We all hurt and have suffered a tremendous loss but we still stand proud and a UNITED STATE under GOD.
Jim of Merced, CA
How am I coping? Simple: music. More specifically, Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" seems rather thematic. He was talking about Vietnam, but war is war, unfortunately. To include another perspective, I will forward the following quote by Paulo Freire, "Never in history has violence been initiated by the oppressed." This quote makes me think, and therefore, cope.
Matthew Carroll of Thule Air Base, Greenland
We live in the Land of the Free, now we're showing the world we're also the Home of the Brave...
Rian Nick of Chicago, IL
For Americans from "sea to shining sea:"
Stand strong, for we are in one of our darkest hours; stand firm; for we represent the world with our response to this; stand proud, for America has always persevered!
Chicago is pulling together during this tragedy. On Friday, it seemed Michigan Avenue to Daley Plaza would burst with its Midwestern souls coming out for a city vigil.
I have never felt the hairs on the back of my neck raise up so much as they have in this past week. The display and outpouring of American solidarity is really, truly amazing.
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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.