Reflections & Letters

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My fellow Americans & to all of mankind,

< >I am especially proud to have countries like England, France, India, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Switerzland, Australia, and so many others on our side. I nearly cried as I watched the Star Spangled Banner played in London and despite the actions of some of this people, I smiled when I saw Yasser Arafat giving blood. So many people around the world mourn with America and on behalf of her, my country, I thank all those who support us in our time of grief. It's very comforting to have you all.
< >At this time, I must advise all of you who wish to help the relief work on what to do:

  • DO NOT send food or clothes to Washington D.C. or New York City. THERE IS NO USE FOR THEM.
  • DO send food or clothes to local charities, such as Good Will, soup kitchens, or the Salvation Army.
  • DO NOT give blood if you are under 17, below 110 lbs, unhealthy, or have recent body art.
  • DO give blood starting September 18, 2001 to your local Red Cross and/or hospitals who need replenishing.
  • DO NOT go to New York City to volunteer - there is hardly anything to do.
  • DO volunteer at local nursing homes, hospitals, soup kitchens, Meals on Wheels, etc. They need your help.
    < >Please send money to the Red Cross by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW for details; and visit UWNYC.org for other things you can do. Amazon.com is raising money, as well, along with this site. I ask that if you buy Harry Potter things, buy them through me. Comission proceeds will be donated. Also, your local television and radio stations all probably have funds going. (For instance, KNBC in Los Angeles raised $200,000 dollars on September 14 at the Rosebowl.) If you're a kid, try to find out what your school is doing, and make a difference by setting up a relief fund for classmates to donate money.
    < >The date of September 11th has become the baby boomer's John F. Kennedy Assasination Day and the World War II veteran's December 7th. My generation (whatever it is now to be called) has experienced its first horror and is still reeling. Remember, though, how strong we are. We are Americans and we have fought for our freedom so many times. We will continue to do so, no matter who tries to stop us. Remember the old adage, "What does not kill us, makes us stronger." Although many of our fellow people are dead, our country is not, and we will stand together to fight our world's foes.

    Sincerely,
    Gypsy Silverleaf

    ~


    Tue, 11 Sep 2001 17:30:21 PDT from Eleigh, age 17
    My dearest friends:
    < >The children of my generation have never known war. We are too young to remember the Gulf War, and Operation Desert Storm is but a phrase from our early memory. Throughout the school day, televisions and radios in different rooms blared the latest news of the great American tragedy. Students were either apathetic or shocked -- more commonly a combination of both -- as they puzzled over the impact this event would cause on their daily lives and their lives in the future. Those children with parents or other close family in the military were making phone calls about the situations on our US military bases or weeping quietly in each others arms. In my varsity choir class, we talked about the importance of community in times of crisis. We acknowledged the need for unity in helping to control the hardships of warfare; including economic downfall, local anarchy and pillaging, the pain of losing those persons closest to us, and international chaos.
    < >This terrorist act, and whatever else may come as a result, has brought a new form of empathy for my generation towards those who have come before us. Yesterday, my biggest concern was whether or not I'd have my journalism assignment in on time. Today, my greatest fear is that hundreds-of-thousands of lives will be lost in a war that will define my generation. I think of how my grandparents and great-grandparents felt when they heard the announcement of WW2. My heart is in my throat as I think of all my friends who have joined the military. I tear up in fear at the thought of the boys sitting next to me in class being drafted. I cannot even imagine the ripping pain these boy's guardians must feel.
    < >While the future remains uncertain, we must realize that now is the time for unity. There is safety in numbers -- and in the knowledge that the people around you have their hearts and minds tied to yours. Say a prayer, tell someone in pain that you sympathize with them, give blood, volunteer with the Red Cross, light a candle, set aside petty conflicts and rise together as one people. "E PLURIBUS UNUM."
    < >Life is too short for hate.

    Wed, 12 Sep 2001 10:39:25 PDT +0500 from Saski (in Germany)
    < >When the towers crashed it was 3 pm here. I came out of school, went to the computer, got steered infront of the TV and sat there 4 hours straight. We switched between CNN, BBC (english) and German channels, just to get different POVs... The US wasn't the only country totally blocked off, you know. In Germany people were sent home from work, ministries were closed all over Europe and a most of Brussels was evacuated. People are scared eveywhere, people cry over here for the lives lost in something senseless as this... It was the WTC. That wasn't a terrorism in America, Gypsy. That was a terrorism to the world.
    I thank you for the clear words about the arabs on the board. There will be a lot of hate soon, and it will be difficult to remember that you cannot avenge life by taking life. We cried... cried for the number of innocent lives lost and the numbers still to come.
    < >I can't believe I said bye to my friend as if it were the last time I was ever going to speek to her... It was so dark, yesterday night, and it seemed as if a war was going to break out... the worst war we can imagine.

    Wed, 12 Sep 2001 15:34:54 PDT from Sarah (in Virginia)
    < >my school is trying to get back to normal (teachers say it will give us a sense of security)...i mean, it was so crazy...some of us go the city every week, it is so close, we can see it from the tops of some hills here...its ridiculous, they can't just pretend it didn't happen...yesterday when it all happened our principal shut down the cable system because it upset so many people- everyone was so mad, oh course it was upseting people, everyone flooded the guidance to try to find out if there family was dead. Everytime a plane flys by (especially before the airports opened) during school the room goes silent and tenses up- we all just want it to be a military plane. All of the mid-eastern kids, who've lived here all their lives were put into a seperate room, a lot didn't show up today- it wasn't because they did anything, everyone knew that, some of them had families working at WTC- its just that they were afraid kids would attack them because they are so upset by the whole thing. Everyone was thanking God and still thanking him for sparing their families. We all realized its funny the way things work- my Godmother works at WTC and was just laid off last week- she could've been dead. So many stories about missing trains and stalled cars or going out for a smoke or getting some coffee- you would never expect something like that to save your life. I don't even want to know the death totals- there are still so many people unaccounted for-my teacher had a brother at the top floor- its sad to say had, the chances are quite slim. A family friend was on the phone with his wife...saw the planes...hundreds of people jumping out of the windows holding hands- the courtyard between the two towers was full of lost souls, and this was even before the buildings collapsed. In only one of my classes we discussed! everything about this catastrophe- my history class- and it was the best class i ever had. Still trying to find out about my mom's sister. The terrorists definitly messed with the wrong ------- country.

    Wed, 12 Sep 2001 17:24:39 PDT +1300 from Emma (in Australia)
    < >I was just on your site and I read your note about the terroroist stuff. Yeah, I think it's really sad. I live in Australia and we're all completely shocked over here. It's all over the news. I don't really know the full story, as I've been at school all day, but what I do know, I think is terrible. People over here with family and friends in America are panicking bigtime. I can't believe some people could do this. I don't know how they could live with themselves. Like George W Bush said, it was an act of great evil, and as I said, an act of severe mental unbalance. Half my year is convinced it's the beginning of world War Three. I don't know if it is, I hope it's not, but I just want to say to you, good luck. I'll be thinking of you and all Americans.

    Wed, 12 Sep 2001 18:32:47 PDT from Valdrake
    < >i was shocked when i had heard about what had just happened and couldnt beleive it. i was at school and many people were gathered in the library i asked what was going on they told me that there was live footage of a plane crashing into one of the most famous landmarks in New York city. there is a TV in my school library and when i looked through the window i saw teachers crying. some of my friends had also started to cry but not out of shock out of terror because many of their family members live or were visiting new york so i started to try to comfort some of them since i know how hard it is to lose a family member. i even started to think how something like this couldve happened and when i saw the footage for myself at my house it all looked like something that you see in the movies not something you see in real life. i started to cry like a maniac at around 6:00. then one of my friends called me as if he knew i was not allright and i had started to tell him everything that i had seen in the news and like a true friend he started to calm me down and talk with me in such a manner as if he were standing right in front of me holding my hand and helping me. after that i had thanked god that i was still living and that i have a friend that is as caring as him. i will not say my name, if im a he or a she, or where i live, i will only tell you that i am 14 yrs old and when i heard of what had happened it was as if i was slammed into a brick wall, reality had struck me and trust me to deal with something like this at my age is not an easy thing because i had once lived in new york. now i see what couldve happened to me and my family if we had stayed there. im still shocked. i arrived late at school today because me and my family were watching the news. when i arrived at school and sat down i suddenly noticed that my hands were shaking so i started to work. but before i even started the friend that had called me last night asked me if i was feeling all right and i nodded. then we started to talk and then went to our separate classes. anyway what i have to say is that im horrified at what had happened and im very frightened of if we have to go to war which is something that i hope that we can evade. however, i am sure we will pull through this. the united states is stronger than the terrorists want us to believe. they may have scared us, but they're going to be scared too.
    i hope that you are well and that your family is also well.

    Wed, 12 Sep 2001 21:58:05 PDT +0100 from Gillian Donovan (in England)
    < >I don't know if you guys know how much the awful news has affected the whole world but I can assure you that all my friends here in England are just as shocked and horrified as you are though obviously we cannot even begin to comprehend how you all must feel. The worst thing is not being able to do anything so if this makes you or anyone you know feel even the tiniest bit better I'll have done something.

    Wed, 12 Sep 2001 19:46:11 PDT -0700 from Brittany
    < >Please give my heart, tears, hope and strengh to those who have lost loved ones or are still looking for them.Please give the other brave souls that are looking for them my spirit to keep them going.I'd give blood too,but am too young.For I am only 15 and my mom won't let me no matter how much I plead. This is all I can do for now,with my limited choices. So please give this too them:
    < >In honor of those who have perished, I will willingly hang a flag out of my locker for the week.Thank You and God Bless you and the other souls. May they be in good hands.

    Thu, 13 Sep 2001 15:25:00 PDT from Nikara (in California)
    Thank you for agnowledging this tradgey. I know that my school was evacuated on that day, because it is so close to The Jet propulsion Laboratories, and it was very scary because we all thought that something was going to hit JPL. I do not personally know anyone yet, but I know my heart goes out to those who do.

    Thu, 13 Sep 2001 19:33:55 PDT +0100 from Lorna Murphy (in Ireland)
    I am 13 years old and had just come back from school when I heard what happened. I would just like to say that in this time of great sadness the Irish and American people stand shoulder to shoulder and I hope that one day there will be world peace.

    Fri, 14 Sep 2001 13:11:58 PDT from Bouncing Ferret, age 12
    I don't know where to start, so I guess the beginning will do. I was at school, in third period, and an announcement came on saying something like, "Students and teachers, please continue with your regular school day." We all sort of looked at our teacher as if to say, "What the heck was that all about?" If you think about it, it was strange to hear, since we didn't know what had happened. So our teacher told us what he knew, which was only about half of what actually happened, but at school how are you supposed to know what's going on? Then there was another announcement telling the teachers to turn off the TV's in the rooms. No one really knew what was going on. We got a letter to take home, but all it said was something about terrorism in DC and NYC, which we all knew anyway. When I got home, my mom came to the door. I said "What's going on?" She said "! You don't know??" and I said "They wouldn't tell us." So she told me. My family doesn't watch the news really, and my mom hadn't known until my grandma called and said my aunt who works in DC was Ok, and my mom was like What? What was wrong with her? And my grandma was like You don't know? That was how my mom found out. I know this is getting kind of long so I only have one more thing to say. There's a girl in my Science class from Morrocco, and she speaks mostly French, and barely any English. The day after the attacks, she pulled on my arm, and when I turned around she said something like "Television...American...?" she saw I really didn't understand (I don't watch much TV and I thought she was talking about some show she'd seen). Then she did it. She spread out her arms and rocked back and forth, making airplane sounds. It clicked in my head then. "Oh," said "yes". She stopped being an airplane and made a gesture, saying BOOM! "Yes," I said "not good, not good." I made a ! face at her, the kind of Ow face you make when you or a friend hurt yourself. She made it back at me. For once, we both understood each other perfectly.

    Fri, 14 Sep 2001 17:32:39 -0700 from Becky
    Eyes fixed on the TV screen,
    Watching as people run and scream.
    Shake your head and wonder why
    and how this could come to be.

    Floating in a state of disbelief.
    Videos show how in such a brief
    time things could have so changed.
    And no one knows whether to stay or leave.

    Wondering if someone you knew
    is there, and what they'd do
    when caught like a mouse in a trap,
    not knowing if the next victim will be you.

    Security has been destroyed,
    Now in our minds there is a void
    Filled with questions about what we once were sure.
    People walk mechanically like some sort of droid.

    The young ones they don't understand;
    about bombs and an evil terrorists band
    and mums and dads don't know what to say.
    Oh, this seemed like such a safe land.

    The phone lines are all jammed with calls
    as people watch in fear as the building falls.
    They don't know who was lost or saved,
    And they've shut down everything from airlines to malls.

    We don't know who planned this act.
    It's hard to verify any fact
    on this day when everything's confused
    over the destruction of this attack.

    We know they've bombed the Pentagon
    and the World Trade Center is just suddenly gone
    and we just don't want to believe.
    The day and night seem endlessly long.

    It's impossible to sleep at night.
    And we like to have a little light
    To remind us that for now we're okay
    after watching and living such a fright.

    We know this might mean war,
    But we'd be fighting for
    all of those who died today;
    And yet that would too kill countless more

    We wish it could all just stop,
    Let all our fears and worries drop
    but we may never be able to again;
    As we watch live reporters run and cough.

    Say a prayer to the friends and families
    Who know not where their loved ones be
    We're hoping they will be okay,
    And this can again be the home of the free.
    A/N: Still reeling from the attack, it's just unbelievable. My heart goes out to those who lost friends or family, and I hope that we can recover from this in time. Hope whoever did this thing will be caught quickly.

    Fri, 14 Sep 2001 20:07:32 EDT from Sonia, age 13
    September 11th: another day that will live in infamy. The two World Trade Center towers were destroyed when 2 hijacked planes intentionally crashed in each of the towers. Another hijacked plane hit part of the pentagon and yet another crashed near Pittsburgh, PA. There are no known survivors. What was supposed to be a normal day turned to one of the most nightmarish days our generation has ever seen. Hundreds and maybe thousands of lives were taken from us. And what's really sad is that we hadn't done anything wrong. Lives have been forever changed even if you didn't lose anyone but these events will live in our minds and hearts for the rest of our lives. We as the younger generation will live with this far longer than our parents and grandparents but this will teach us to value our lives and what we have no matter how little it is because one day, unexpectedly, we can lose our lives. We'll never get another chance to say "I love you" or "I miss you" or even "I'm sorry." So say those things and reconcile with old friends so that if there isnt a tomorrow you will never regret what you didn't do today. Value what you have and tell everyone what you feel wether it is good or bad because you may never have another chance to tell people how you feel.

    Fri, 14 Sep 2001 22:46:21 EDT +0100 from Hannah "Galadriel" Potter (in England)
    < >I've never felt so useless in all my life, the minute I heard I wanted to run and give blood, like it would ever get there. I can't get the sequences out of my head, the plane on one side of the building and instead of re-appearing on the other side, a huge fireball erupts. The top of the tower collapsing over and over again. For a while I was scared, my dad's in Washington at the moment and although he is fine, there was an hour where I was all on my own and did not know what to do while I waited to find out. I felt like I was watching a bad action film and I couldn't watch the television for hours like all my friends did, it was just a repetition over and over again, I couldn't bear it for too long. And already it feels like it was so long ago, the story has been picked over so many times. It's time to move on, if we can. We should never ever ever forget what happened, but we can't become so absorbed that we forget how to live.

    Fri, 14 Sep 2001 21:09:21 EDT +0100 from Zalskar (a user at Neopets)
    A quiet un-yielding anger
    fills our hearts, our minds, and our souls.
    We look on in terror
    as our fellow men are killed.
    Our anger is focused
    on who we can't be sure
    but it's there.
    Oh, it's there!
    Ever present,
    ever racing through our minds.
    And we wonder why?
    Why? Why?

    Fri, 14 Sep 2001 21:22:37 PDT -0500 from Jim
    < >I never thought that man kind could sink as low as they did on Tuesday, but then again I didn't think they could have been so strong. Things like this bring out the best and worst in people. So in all the tragedy and waste of life we also saw man kind rushing to the ultimate sacrifice their life for another. I hope whoever did this knows that it won't be America who loses whatever comes because even if America didn't have a good army and money we would have are spirit and now coward is stronger than the American Sprit.

    Sat, 15 Sep 2001 00:01:48 PDT from Mrowkoob101@aol.com
    < >I did not find out about the attacks until right before I went to school (I live in Colorado). I just stared at the television screen, horrified. i had known that something would happen--the US is not invincible-- but never would I have thought about such a horrifying and cowardly act. Fortunatley, I do not know anyone who was killed--directly at least. This is possibly the saddest thing that I have encounterd in my 13 and a half years of life. It had been a real eye-opener for everyone--the US and the world. Now is perhaps the most important time to put away our differences and stand together to help fight terrorism. And to remember that not all Islamic/Muslim/Arab/etc. people are terrorists. Most are just as American as you and me.

    Sat, 15 Sep 2001 08:32:21 EDT from Allison

    I've heard about the terrorists,
    Everywhere but here.
    But they've struck in NYC,
    From my home, very near.
    The headlines do not help,
    With the scary things they say,
    "FREEDOM UNDER SEIGE!" it says.
    Is it even safe to go outside and play?
    I worry about our freedom.
    The rumors swirling around:
    Wars starting on USA soil,
    Terrorists walking on USA ground,
    The Capital and White House were targets.
    I'm sitting here waching the news come in.
    The USA is in Alert Con Delta,
    Building 5 will fall down with the drop of a pin.
    Two days ago this country seemed perfect to us kids,
    Nothing could go wrong.
    But the tables have turned as quickly,
    As a game of ping-pong
    The NMES was activated,
    Thousands giving blood.
    There's still so much that we don't know,
    Like something stuck in the mud.
    And then there are all the people dead.
    So many children without parents and vice versa.
    I thought stuff like this happened in other countries,
    But never in America

    Sat, 15 Sep 2001 08:32:21 EDT from Mzchf103@cs.com
    < >I think it's amazing what terrorists can do these days.The two WTC towers, passenger planes, then the Pentagon...they're saying that the plane that hit the pentagon was heading for our White House or Camp David. I'm discusted,though, that these people would do something like this, how people cheered, but mostly the way people are treating American Muslims. They aren't responsible for what others did and shouldn't have to deal with being shooed out of public affairs. I'm a Christian, and ,though they have a different religion, my heart goes out to them. Not only do they suffer the loss of life but must they endure pain for somethig they had no power to stop? Send me what you think, please.

    Sat, 15 Sep 2001 17:50:57 from Ben (please check out before donating)
    Gypsy-- I, too, live in the US, and as you know I own UHPS, a Harry Potter site. More specifically, I live on the East Coast, about one half hour from NYC. This tragedy has really hit hard in our town. I know more schools have done more, but our school had a minute of silence today and tonight (Friday) people in our town will go out at 7 o clock EDT and light a candle in remembrance of the people killed and the rescuers who risked and continue to risk their lives.
    < >I totally agree with you that people have to give blood and continue to give money. This war against terrorism isn't over, and isn't close to being over.
    < >As you might know, my website The Ultimate Harry Potter Site (http://www.geocities.com/bomberbo3) has a link to bomberbo7.epinions.com there. I recommend everyone to go to that site and raise money for me, which I will donate to the Red Cross and other organazations, like you are doing. Just sign up for this program write an "e-pinion" (or an opinion) about a topic of your choice, and the Red Cross earns two dollars. It is so simple. The website again is bomberbo7.epinions.com, or you can link through my site.
    < >Please publish this on your site, Gypsy, for people to see, and try to put bomberbo7.epinions.com on your site because it will gain a lot more traffic. I encourage you to check my website out, or call the Red Cross directly at 1-800-HELP NOW, AND go through Gypsy's site and buy products. She gets a comission and will be donating proceeds as well. Help your country in any way you can.

    ~

    Webmistress





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