(Originally published at OnePaper.com)
This is more editorial than press, as I do not consider myself a hard-core journalist. I do consider my friends and family as we hear new reports by the minute, each more horrifying than the last.
The immediacy with which we were able to get the news of the first of the national catastrophes because of the internet has been a curse. The stunning rapidity of each incidence of carnage was just unbelievable. In fact, I remember laughing nervously at the very idea that someone could run a plane ‘by accident’ into a tower of the World Trade Center. I was not laughing when the 2nd plane plowed into its other pillar.
Anger? Yes. Fear? Isn’t that the objective? I sat at my terminal in the nearly-abandoned building in the heart of Atlanta, and I wondered about all the emergency coverage I had helped to provide as a member of a radio crew (or 2, or 3…) in the United States Virgin Islands… I thought about all the complaints after the devastating hurricanes – no electricity, no ice, no CABLE, if you can believe it. And I got just as mad as I did back then. Once, I’d even said on the air, “The storm is gone and you are alive. There is no one out there trying to finish the job.”
Mean to people? A voice of reason? I was called both. My sister and I were in an instant messenger chat a few minutes ago, and as I pondered the fates of a dear friend and her family I have in the D.C. area, I tapped out, “This is what it feels like knowing that they have come back to finish the job.”
There are people all around the world for whom this type of national tragedy (as we rightfully call it) is a daily occurence. The midnight massacres, genocide, ‘disappearing’… all are terrorist acts that we cannot begin to fathom while we make our shopping lists and complain about power outages and such.
Count your blessings. Pray. Reach out and let someone know that you love them and need them in your life. For the first time in MY life, I knew what it is like to be in the crosshairs. Those who were here for December 7, 1941 already know it. Our veterans know it. Children in some parts of the world are born knowing it. For those who have been living with this reality forever, I apologize for ever thinking that my life was not fine just the way it is.
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