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Messages from New York City:Subject: 09/11/01, pt 1
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 13:52:36 -0400 I am writing this from downtown New York. In a perverse reversal, I have no way to contact anyone except through my high-speed wireless internet connection phones are out, and electricity in the area is intermittent. The media will ultimately tell the story better than I, but I can tell you that there is massive loss of life. The sky is black with ash, the people have been panicking and fleeing in unadulterated terror. I have never seen anything like it. It is very difficult to breathe, even with your mouth covered the ash blows down the streets and burns your eyes. It feels like the world has ended. When the screaming started and the crowds began to run after the second plane struck it was a horror film running in overdrive, jumping frames and cutting in and out. Time got lost I don't know how long this went on. I have a cut on my leg. I ended up in a Wendy's where a huge number of us took refuge. I don't know where the workers were I helped get water for people. I am starting to see emergency workers, and the streets are clearing somewhat at least the first waves of panic are passing. I've seen bodies draped in white sheets it took me a time to realize those were bodies, not injured people; they must be out of room or not be able to get them to the morgues or the hospitals. I'm headed for the Brooklyn Bridge to walk out of the city. I'm going to stop at any hospital I find to give blood before leaving. If anyone reading this can, please donate blood I heard from a medic that the hospitals are already running out. md Subject: 9/11/01, pt 2
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 18:25:32 -0400 I am writing this from my home in Brooklyn after leaving Manhattan. I have signed up for a time slot to give blood later this evening and have a few hours available before then. After my last posting I made my way east through an urban moonscape everywhere there is ash, abandoned bags in the street, people looking lost. I managed to get a cell line out to Jean-Michele, who is still in Seattle, and she helped me navigate with online maps as I plotted my exit strategy. Bizarrely, I caught a taxi crosstown. I was standing at a corner, I'm not even certain where, and a taxi was sitting there. A very pushy woman, whom I will always be thankful for, barged her way into the cab. In a moment, without thinking, I climbed in too. The driver, a Pakistani guy who had an improbable smile, immediately took off. The ash blocks out the sun downtown it's like driving in an impossible midnight, and even more impossible that I'm in a cab, with this woman who won't stop trying her cell phone and another man, my age, who looks like he's been crying. Maybe he just has ash in his eyes. I know I do I feel like I will never see properly again, though that's probably just trauma. I don't even know where the driver is going. The crying man got someone on *his* cell phone, starts explaining what he's seeing out the window. It's like having a narrator traveling with us I only notice the things that he is describing as he describes them. God bless that taxi driver we never paid him. He let us all off, and I think he got out as well, near the Brooklyn Bridge. There are cops everywhere, people are herding themselves quite calmly, mutely, onto the
bridge. We all walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, which is unbelievably beautiful, the wires and stone of the bridge surrounding us and the bright sun ahead, passing out of darkness. No one is talking to each other, but there is a sense of warmth. Everyone has their cell phones out, fishing for a clear signal. Those who catch them talk hurriedly to families, friends, people in other cities, children in their homes. It is comforting to hear their voices, telling how they are okay, shhh, it's okay, I'm okay. As we walk out into the sunlight, I am so happy to be in this company, the company of people who are alright, those who walked out. I was in the city today to turn in some of my book, I had stayed up all night writing and I was so worried is it ready, have I done my work? Those questions seem small today not unimportant, but smaller, in a new proportion. I kept thinking of how much I have left to do in my life, so many things that are undone, people I haven't spoken to in years. It's overwhelming to feel everyone around me thinking the same thing, the restless thoughts trickling over this bridge as we come back to Brooklyn. From the Promenade I stand with hundreds of others, listening to radios, watching the plumes of smoke and the empty holes in the skyline. People stand there for a long time, talk to one another in hushed tones. Someone hands out a flier for a vigil this evening, which I will go to after I give blood. What can be said? Just this: we will emphasize the horror and the evil, and that is all true. It is not the entire story. I saw an old man with breathing problems and two black kids in baggy pants and ghetto gear rubbing his back, talking to him. No one was rioting or looting. People helped each other in small and tremendous ways all day long. A family was giving away sandwiches at the Promenade. Everyone I talked to agreed to go give blood. If a draft had been held to train people to be firefighters there would have been fights to see who got to volunteer. No matter how wide and intricate this act of evil may be it pales in comparison to the quiet dignity and strength of regular people. I have never been more proud of my country. md
Ordinary People faced with Extraordinary ChallengesI received a message from Tom Crowley, an acquaintance from the Atlanta Astronomy club who had a relative on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. It may explain the reason for the crash: "Today was a tragedy for all of America and to my family, a very personal one. Lynn and my Niece Liz's husband, Jeremy Glick was on United flight 93 this morning. When the Hijackers took control of flight 93. Jeremy called my niece who in-turn conferenced him to 911. Jeremy relayed to the police what was happening as the hijacking unfolded. As our niece Liz listened, Jeremy told the police there were three Arab terrorists with knives and a large red box that they claimed contained a bomb. Jeremy tracked the second by second details and relayed them to the police by phone. After several minutes of describing the scene, Jeremy and several other passengers decided there was nothing to lose by rushing the hijackers. Although United Flight 93 crashed outside of Pittsburgh, with the loss of all souls, Jeremy and the other patriotic heroes saved the lives of many people on the ground that would have died if the Arab terrorists had been able to complete their heinous mission. Please offer your prayers for all of those who perished or were injured in this tragic of all days and to our niece Liz Glick and her 2-month-old child, Emerson, who are left without their loving Husband and Father. May we remember Jeremy and the other brave souls as heroes, soldiers and Americans on United flight 93 who so gallantry gave their lives to save many others."
Hunt Hodgetts Marietta, GA A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
From the HeartlandIn light of all the bad news, I thought I would share my last 2 days with everyone. I have long been a volunteer worker when the local community had it blood drive so Tuesday AM when I saw the news I called Ponca City chapter of the Red Cross and asked if they needed help. They said they would start accepting blood donations at 2:30 and they could use help. I went about 2:00 to find the waiting room already full and more people coming in all the time. We had a steady stream of people until we ran out of bags and quit about 10:30 PM and told people we would open up at 8:00 AM Wednesday. We worked 12 hours and never ran out of donors. Many of these were young people. Some 17 year olds who were giving for the first time. In addition there was a church group who brought in sandwiches and snacks. The Salvation Army brought food and juice and bottles of water to give to the donors. Some people came in and said they couldn't give blood but wanted to make a cash donation. Two men offered to drive the blood to Tulsa after we finished.
I just wanted to share this to counteract some of the bad news. Shirley in OK
National Candlelight Vigil - Friday, September 14, 2001Our brothers and sisters in New York have asked for all of us to take part in a Nationwide candle light vigil. Whether you choose to do this or not, is up to you, but I believe it is a positive idea in the middle of all of this tragedy. Friday Night at 7:00 p.m. step out your door or step out of your business establishment and light a candle. We will show the world that Americans are strong and united together against terrorism. Please pass this to everyone on your e-mail list. We need to reach everyone across the United States quickly. The message: UNITED WE STAND - WE WILL NOT TOLERATE TERRORISM! The world needs to see that The United States Will Not Lay Down! Julia - MGI USA
Tribute to the United States (from Canada)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 (written in 1973). 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! Wear it proudly!! Source: Gordon Sinclair http://www.snopes.com/quotes/sinclair.htm
And the Flag was still there
Fire-Prayer-Drum Circle at Center For Peace & HealingBlessings, to all of you....you are welcome to join us in uplifting the planet with our prayers, offering, chanting. Bring offerings from your tradition for the fire and if you wish, food or snacks for your community. We will gather at the medicine wheel and dissolve fears, wrong understanding, and open the way for steadiness, strength, peace, respect, cooperation, compassion, love, true love, and the truest love for all creation, for all humanity, for all our relations.... The fire is burning and the Medicine Wheel is here for you all day today, and this evening. Let us not indulge in our own fears, but instead, all-ways ask what humanity needs from us. They need our prayers, our faith, our calls for peace that those souls who have moved on, journey in peace, that their families find peace within themselves, that the terrorists find the way of peace within themselves and leave behind any limited understanding, that causes harm-full actions to others and their own soul path. May everyone's negative karmas be dissolved. Governments need our prayers and invocations of peace so they may work in respect, support and cooperation and serve the people in Wisdom. Many need our prayers that all this activity seen from the highest point of view, as something that is leading us towards a higher reality. We were brought here to uplift and transform e-v-e-r-y-thing that crosses our path. This is our duty, our assignment....too often it takes something like this to get us to do our greatest peace work....so let us be aware that the Universe/our Higher Self will all-ways create a situation to get us to do our higher work. The Planet, our Beauty-full Mother Earth wants more offering, more ceremony, more prayers, songs, and dance from us, and our Higher Self knows this, so here we are.....we have all co-created a big shake-up to break the chains we allow to hold us so bound to our daily routines. In moments like this we get to check within ourselves and find what spiritual practices we have faith in. If we find we don't have an absolute faith in any, it inspires us to then take refuge in a sacred name or practice. So let us dedicate ourselves to this moment with great focus, great devotion, the highest wisdom, understanding that all plans have perfection within them, seen with Wisdom Eyes....the Mother God, Father God Force does not birth imperfection.....all pain and challenges also bring much good, much growth, much valuable experience to the Soul. Already we see that this has brought us closer together as a nation....and has focused us on the need for Peace.... May we stand in unity in all times, seemingly good and seemingly bad. May all beings be peace-full, tranquil, serene in the one-ness of things...blessed by the ones who are blazing in Glory.... Pash In Lak'ech.... Peace Mother, Geeta Sacred Song
Modjeska Canyon, CA About The Peace Mother: Geeta Sacred Song travels the globe transforming sacred sites, communities and individuals. The Peace Mother's vision is one of global harmony and she promotes peace by facilitating Peace Ceremonies, Programs, and Celebrations on behalf of all creation. She has founded a non-profit Sacred Peace Center, to fulfill Spirits command of light expansion on the Beauty-full Flowering Earth.
From an Australian Living in America
There is SO much to be said about the terrorist events in America this past week and I am sure I will write much over the coming weeks.
However for now I want Americans to realize the INCREDIBLE outpouring of genuine support and love from the rest of the world that is NOT being reported IN America. You are hearing bits of it, like how Buckingham Palace flew the American flag and played the American anthem at the changing of the guards, both for the first time ever. Bill Clinton was in Australia when it happened (and ironically the Prime minister of Australia was in Washington, 600 feet from the Pentagon crash) and immediately the whole country was locked down in case there was an attack against HIM... all planes were grounded etc.
Also in Australia firemen across the country have volunteered to fly here to help. One, Mehar Maku wrote a beautiful song for the American firemen to inspire and support them. I t goes on and on. World leaders everywhere giving speeches and interviews with tears in their eyes. Millions of people coming to US Embassies everywhere to pray, leave flowers and show support.
Understand that the world is seeing this as more than an American event but as a HUMANITARIAN disaster that must never happen again. The world is joining hands, even hard core Arab countries, in their condemnation of this atrocity against humans and humanity saying it can never happen again, that we MUST do life on Earth differently and that we must find new answers. Meanwhile here in America almost none of this is getting through in the media... the main message is "business as usual" which means " we are at war and will now go and kill a lot of people".... there is no thought of new approaches.
We are told that Bush is gathering, building a coalition of countries
when in fact the world rushed to help.... bottom line the "story" we are
getting IN America is VERY different to the rest of the world ... which IS business as usual.
The thing that so saddens me is that America and Americans are missing the gift of PURE LOVE from the rest of the world -
literally as part of the family of humanity - because they are not being
What WE are being given is hard nosed facts and actions and NOT the huge heartbreaking world wide tragedy that this is and that we must cry, weep, scream and yell for and about so it does NOT happen again.... NOT by blowing the Arabs to hell but by finding NEW ways to work and live together. It is nothing less than the challenge of our New Millennium.
IF WE JUST BOMB AND KILL OUR HURT OUT, WE WILL KEEP THE CYCLE GOING AS IT HAS BEEN FOR SO LONG!!!!
Sure, get the bastards who did it, but THEN heal our world. Find common ground or else NYC and DC will be the daily news from now on. The world is seeing America deeply wounded and is collectively coming to lick the world and help the healing and you don't even know! PLEASE tell your friends. Please copy and distribute this to others so THEY know.
Your media is not telling you this. I WANT Americans to know that the world REALLY IS with you... like on the streets in Australia and Europe and New Zealand and Canada and our so called enemies even - god, Yasser Arrafat was so heartfelt in his hurt and condemnation of these actions and then gave blood for the wounded. THINK ABOUT THAT!
The world is now literally in the New Age. It was baptized in blood, horror and shock and we must .... we MUST find a way to stop it everywhere.... people are still, days later, openly weeping, hugging, talking in the streets, in stores. No one has gone to work for days. Australia is shut down as everyone mourns and sends love and support and the rest of the world is doing the same thing too.
Let it in America. The world changed the other day. FOR EVER. We are having a hippie moment of collective "we are the world" love and recognition that on planet Earth there are no passengers, we are all crew. The reaction to this in Australia is 10 times bigger than when Di passed away ... it is huge everywhere! EVERYONE cares.
You are not alone America when so often you have been. Get that, please. You are cared about, cared for and accepted and embraced by humanity as part of us all ... by the whole world who weeps for you, and for itself, for the madness we have sunk to, collectively. Now lets end this madness we have been in for so long and find some REAL new answers to not just come together, but to stay together!
©2001 - Tomas Gregory
From an RN/EMT at the WTC
I Was There, I am a Registered Nurse, and an EMT. On Tuesday afternoon, I headed for the city from Orange County, NY. At each Police blockade, I displayed my credentials hoping not to be turned away. Each and every time, I was sent down roads closed to other traffic and urged to hurry. It was eerie being one of the only vehicles on what should have been totally congested highways. When I rounded a curve on the West Side Highway that should have given me a great view of the skyline, I and the only other car I could see, slowed dramatically. It was then that the magnitude of what had happened hit us. The huge column of brown and gray smoke was a sight I will never get rid of.
I was sent to gathering stations for medical personnel and at one point, was standing at the foot of what was once the World Trade Center. Being a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn, the hollow feeling I got was totally consuming.
I spent most of Tuesday night being driven around by two Police Officers going to wherever we were needed. I was working with 5 other rescuers on a trauma team. What was so unbelievable to me was that I was the only American. The Cardiologist, Paul, is from England. Hans, the Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon is from the Netherlands, Herrman, the Anesthesiologist, is from Germany. Carlos the Doctor, is from Columbia, Mavi, the other nurse is from Chile, Nuna, the other doctor is from Hong-Kong. Each was in New York on other business. They were here for Job interviews, at conferences, and visiting friends and families. They came for the same reason I did: We all just came there to help.
I will not describe the devastation we saw, or the kinds of horrendous injuries we were trying to remedy. I will however, tell you that we and everyone else we saw reacted like typical New Yorkers: with a kind compassionate and giving attitude. Doors were open, people were grilling food on sidewalks to give to us, men and women walked up to us to try to give us water, prayers, food and encouragement. Medical supply trucks backed into our areas and dropped off millions of dollars worth of equipment, CVS emptied it's shelves of eye wash, Tylenol, Motrin, gauze and tape. Water trucks, Poland Springs, Dasani, dropped off loads of bottled water. And the FOOD!!! At midnight, I had a Prime Rib Dinner, around 4AM I had some fresh baked ham on a newly baked roll. There was an endless supply of water and drinks, fruit, cold cuts and breads. Restaurants were dropping off fabulous trays of their specialties. ordinary people were bringing Dunkin Donuts, rolls, butter, clothes, towels, sheets, shovels, water, drinks, cups, plates and anything else you can think of. It was the only way they could find to help. People were handing us their home phone numbers and addresses so that we could call or stop by for a place to wash up or sleep.
At one point, someone had written "God Bless You" in the dust on the windows of our vehicle.
Though we chatted professionally when we were traveling, for the most part we were silent. Not because we were newly acquainted, but because, well, what could we find to say? We were overcome with what we were involved in.
By the time I looked at my watch seriously, it was 3AM Wednesday morning. Like many others there, I had been up for more than 24 hours. We were tired, exhausted and stressed to the max both physically, and emotionally as well as professionally. By 6AM when we didn't have our hands on a patient we were giddy with fatigue. So were the hundreds and hundreds of other rescue workers. Some had friends and families in those buildings. In all that time and all that tension not a single cross word was spoken. Even the press behaved in an unusual fashion. Though the cameramen were standing next to us, not a one of them were shooting scenes of injured being wheeled into our treatment area.
No microphones were pushed on our faces and no reporters stood in our way. The air of total respect was overwhelming.
At 8AM I was ordered to either sleep or leave. Not being able to close my eyes, I drove home. The magnitude of what was happening hit me when I stopped to get a cup of coffee and some gas. I was still wearing the disposable surgical gown with my title, and team assignment written in tape across my back. I know I must have looked like something out of a war movie.
As I sat alone, a Police Officer tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Thank you." I lost my composure and sat there crying for a minute. When I finished pumping my gas, the foreign born cashier told me there was no charge for me, asked God to protect me and that I get home safely. That rest stop on the NY Thruway was filled with military equipment and men and women dressed in fatigues. One Soldier came up and hugged me and walked away without saying a word. I got home and hugged my husband. He too, is an RN and EMT who worked locally that night. I took a shower and we went back.
We stayed treating people and setting up make shift Operating Rooms for the next 8 hours. Thankfully, the area we were manning was no longer needed. Again we were sent to get sleep or go home. Not finding any where else we could help, we headed out of the City. On our way we saw cars, trucks, fire apparatus, police vehicles and ambulances from all over. Charleston SC, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Canada. We cried at the site of all these strangers who gave up their own daily lives to drive all this way to help people they didn't know, never met and had no ties to.
As I write this, I realize that the men and women at whose side I worked all night, I will never see again. The odd part of it is that I never even said good-bye. So to them, I say, you have changed my life and I will never forget you or your spirit or what you did for my city. To the rest of the world, I say, "Pray." Pray that we find justice for the hundreds of firefighters, police and rescue workers who will not be home tonight. Pray that our children will never wake up to this again. Pray that this is the last time our grandchildren will ask, "Do you remember where you were when you heard about...."and pray that Paul, Hans, Herrman, Mavi, Nuna Carols, and I never meet again on a day of such hatred, love, devastation and hope.
It was, as my husband Jon said, New York's worst moment and finest hour.
Thanks for listening, Eileen H. RN, EMT
Words and Music of Inspirationhttp://www.fourgateways.com/words_of_inspiration.htm from Judy Neal, Association for Spirit at Work The Peace Song (words and music) http://www.nhcrs.org/peace.htm Imagine (words) by John Lennon http://www.john-lennon.com/ then click on the link for the words. America the Beautiful (music) http://www.spreadgood.com/html/america.html Amazing Grace (words) http://www.littleleaf.com/amazinggrace.htm
THE HISTORY OF THE WORLDLong ago,
Someone did something to someone else, who
Did something to someone else, who
Did something to someone else, who
Did something to someone else, who
Did something to someone else, who
Did something to someone else, who
Says revenge is sweet? Shepherd Hoodwin (used with permission)
Proverbs and QuotesWhen seeking revenge, dig two graves. Chinese proverb As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy. Christopher Dawson Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
Two Thousand One, Nine Eleven
Two thousand one, nine eleven
A bearded man with stovepipe hat
They settle down in seats of clouds
Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
From a man on sticks one could hear
"Courage doesn't hide in caves
A silence fell within the mist
"Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought
The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Then, before them all appeared a scene
Hauling ash, lifting stones,
"Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Down below three firemen raised
The man on sticks studied everything closely
"You left behind husbands and wives
All of those people, even those who've never met you
With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
IF I KNEWIf I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.
There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"
But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,
That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear
Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today. Source: We are not sure where this originated since it was sent to us in e-mail. If someone knows the correct source for this, please let us know and we will update this page.
War and ViolenceWar is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong and multiplies instead of indemnifying losses. ... Thomas Jefferson The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie nor establish truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that. ... Martin Luther King, Jr.
An Ode to America (FROM ROMANIA)Why are Americans so united? They don't resemble one another even if you paint them! They speak all the languages of the world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations. Some of them are nearly extinct, others are incompatible with one another, and in matters of religious beliefs, not even God can count how many they are. Still, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people into a hand put on the heart. Nobody rushed to accuse the White House, the army, the secret services that they are only a bunch of losers. Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed on the streets nearby to gape about. The Americans volunteered to donate blood and to give a helping hand. After the first moments of panic, they raised the flag on the smoking ruins, putting on T-shirts, caps and ties in the colors of the national flag. They placed flags on buildings and cars as if in every place and on every car a minister or the president was passing. On every occasion they started singing their traditional song, God Bless America! Silent as a rock, I watched the charity concert broadcast on Saturday once, twice, three times, on different TV channels. There were Clint Eastwood, Willie Nelson, Robert de Niro, Julia Roberts, Cassius Clay, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Sylvester Stallone, James Wood and many others whom no film or producers could ever bring together. The American's solidarity spirit turned them into a choir. Actually, choir is not the word. What you could hear was the heavy artillery of the American soul. What neither George W. Bush, nor Bill Clinton, nor Colin Powell could say without facing the risk of stumbling over words and sounds, was being heard in a great and unmistakable way in this charity concert. I don't know how it happened that all this obsessive singing of America didn't sound croaky, nationalist, or ostentatious! It made you green with envy because you weren't able to sing for your country without running the risk of being considered chauvinist, ridiculous, or suspected of who-knows-what mean interests. I watched the live broadcast and the rerun of its rerun for hours listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was or of the Californian hockey player, who fought with the terrorists and prevented the plane from hitting a Target that would have killed other hundreds or thousands of people. How on Earth were they able to bow before a fellow human? Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every phone call, millions and millions of dollars were put in a collection aimed at rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit which nothing can buy. What on earth can unite the Americans in such a way? Their land? Their galloping history? Their economic power? Money? I tried for hours to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases which risk of sounding like commonplaces. I thought things over, but I reached only one conclusion: Only freedom can work such miracles! Source: Posted to a list in the US with this note "When you think the U.S. isn't thought well of all over the world, read this editorial from a Romanian Newspaper." The poster got it from a friend in France.
The Night Before Christmas 2001T'was the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
And to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different,
It was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier,
Once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
My life is my god, my country, my corps."
The soldier rolled over and soon drifted to sleep;
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
And we both shivered from the cold night's chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark, night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
"Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night." Source: This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan who asked that it be shared freely.
What is an American?You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So an Australian dentist wrote the following to let everyone know what an American is, so they would know when they found one. ========================== An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Cuban, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans. They may have trouble with the language but that does not change their love of our country. An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them
chooses. An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God. An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness. An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes. But they also welcome the least. The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes
your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of
September 11, earning a better life for their families. I've been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 65 other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists. So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo and Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung and every blood thirsty tyrant in the history of the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. T hey are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American. Source: sent in e-mail by Gordon, a Canadian
Seven Days of Prayer
Download file: Totem Tantra.pps (304 kb)
In Memory of Space Shuttle Columbia Astronauts
Page updated: March 27, 2016 06:07 PM
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