Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Special Bulletin


I was preparing to write and send another update on my status and my life, however the recent events have prompted me to issue a special message to all of you.

Yesterday was a day that will forever live in the hearts and minds of all people in the civilized world. The United States, the leader of the free world and icon of democracy and prosperity, was deliberately and maliciously attacked on its own soil, in a manner carefully planned to produce as much death and destruction as possible.

Early Tuesday morning, as I slept, I had a disturbing dream. I dreamt that there was a big earthquake, one much larger than I ever expected. I remember diving under a bed to protect myself, and instructing another person to do the same. In my dream, a second earthquake hit, and myself and the other person rushed for cover again.

I awoke to the buzzing of my pager. The Emergency Response Team event I was scheduled to attend had been cancelled. When I turned on my computer, and then the television, I finally realized the horror that had unfolded while I slept.

Some of you know that I was touring New York City this past weekend with my sisters. Indeed, we were at the World Trade Center and all around Manhattan on Saturday and Sunday. My return flight was a United jet from Newark to San Francisco, differing only in flight number and date from the hijacked plane that crashed near Jonestown, PA. All of this, a mere two days before the tragedy.

Scott and I have three friends that live in the New York City area. Two of them were at work, 15 miles from the World Trade Center, when the planes collided with the Twin Towers. The third friend was supposed to be in the general area at the time of the attacks, but had decided to stay in bed an extra hour. Thankfully, none of them were hurt.

Through this unspeakable act of pure evil, the true goodness of humanity has shone. People in New York and across America are lining up around the block to give blood. Monetary donations are being received from around the continent. Other countries are offerring their condolences and their resources. The people of the US and the world have shown that even in the face of adversity and horror, they can band together, help one another, and persevere.

It is my sincere hope that those individuals who were responsible for these actions are found and brought to justice. I do not advocate acting out in anger or out of revenge. I do not support the death penalty, nor do I condone any military action without solid proof of responsibility. My wish is that no more people have to die because of this. I hope that the United States and its friends will act with justice, and not with anger. I hope that they will take the time to thoroughly investigate, plan a course of action, and execute it with as little disruption to civilians and innocent people as possible.

Life as we know it has changed forever. The United States, and other members of NATO are supposed to be safe. Nobody should be stupid enough to attack, as they would have the wrath of the entire free world unleashed on them. We were lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that terrorism, war and hijacking happened only to someone else, in someone else's country. Now we are faced with the stark realization that nobody, not even the most powerful country in the world, is immune to the desires of madmen.

My hopes and prayers go out to those who were affected by these terrible, horrifying events - the dead, the injured, those still waiting to be rescued, their friends and families, and all the people who were touched by it. If you know someone who was affected, reach out and let them know you care. That may be the best thing you can do for them.

In San Jose, the sun rose this morning. The trains are running, people are on the streets, and businesses are open. Every flag is flying at half-mast. The mood is somber, however the daily routine is continuing. A state of emergency was declared in San Francisco yesterday, but today, most government offices and schools are open for business. Life may never be the same as it was, but it will go on. That is truth, and that will never change.

I just unwrapped the little souvenir I picked up at Sanrio store on 42nd Street in Manhattan. It is Hello Kitty, dressed in red, white and blue, holding a torch and wearing the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Liberty, freedom, democracy, fairness and respect are the building blocks of the United States of America and many other countries around the world. In the words of the President, "Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America." These heartless acts of pure malice are powerless against the unyielding determination and perserverence of the free, civilized world. Though evil has reared its ugly head, good will prevail.

This little toy, now prominently displayed in my cube, will be my reminder of that undeniable truth.



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