|FTLComm - Tisdale / San Jose / Kamloops- Tuesday, September 11, 2001|
|Since the story began to unfold I have been glued to two televisions screens watching
the biggest news story in my lifetime unfold. I was surprised when I received several
phone calls from people doing surveys, selling products and doing business, somehow
I thought everyone would have realised what was going on and devoted their attention
to the event that rapidly spread from New York to Washington and eventually touched
the whole of the continent.
All three of my sons telephoned me knowing full well that I would be extremely upset at this event, not that it touched me personally, initially, but as it began to sink in, the enormity of this situation is very had to take. No word describes it better than to exclaim that this act is simply not acceptable.
Were the event to have ended a few minutes after it began it would already have been one of the most serious terrorist events in North American history. The highjacking of at least four passenger airliners and the deliberate killing of all those hapless people, who just got on the worng airplane this morning. This alone would have moved our universal concern up to the top of the scale, but then there was more and then more.
As I write this here is what has occured, four US airline aircraft were highjacked and deliberately crashed killing all passengers and crew. Two were flown into the World trade centre towers in New York City and a third hit the Pentagon in Washington. The fourth aircraft was to go down in Pennsylvania with confirmation from that aircraft that it had been highjacked. One of the other aircraft also got a message off from a member of the crew who reported two of the flight attendants stabbed and highjackers in control of the flight deck.
The two massive skyscrapers in Manhatten collapsed one after the other with rescue people crawling through them and unknown numbers of workers trapped in the building. The Pentagon was seriously damaged killing large numbers of people in their offices.
The effects were felt here in Canada almost immediately. The United States with aircraft falling out of the sky quite rightly closed its airspace and put its military aircraft up to guard against further attacks. Sons two and three reported very heavy inbound traffic into Winnipeg International as US aircrafts diverted there and to other Canadian airports as they also button down all departures. Winnipeg International is also a military airport and there were reports that the place was secured by military personell.
Meanwhile back home (to me the Yukon seems like home) two Korean airliners, one a transport and the other a passenger aircraft were forced to land by Canadian military CF-18s and the passenger aircraft was being treated as though it were a highjacked aircraft.
From coast to coast the United States is shut down, schools closed, buslines not operating and commerce ground to a halt, in Canada we will mirror the security precautions and commerical flight is not expected to resume at least until tomorrow or later.
My e-mail began getting reactions to these events almost immediately after they occured as Kevin McIntyre who lives within listening distance to San Francisco Internation sent me his first realisation that things had shut down then he sent me his reactions to the tragedy.
The talking heads keep saying of the resources needed to carry out this attack: I peg it at less than fifteen people. Four airplanes, two, maybe three per makes a dozen people. A couple more that head up that terrorist cell and that's all you need. You need four with ability to fly aircraft, and they only need to know how to do course changes / straight and level. Once the pilot has it off the ground any person with a private ticket could steer it. They need guns that don't set off metal detectors at check points, the NRA assured them ready access to those, and in ten minutes anyone with Internet access anywhere in the world can check departure times at selected airports. They choose cross country flights [going west w/ headwinds] that would have full fuel tanks, and hit highly visible targets. The fourth plane was likely headed for the Capital building [as laid out in detail in one of Tom Clancy's novels] but the flight crew were more successful in their fight.
|Kevin has thought through the scenario and clearly the kind of results from such
planning has been demonstrated and we are all in trouble with this one.
Meanwhile, business education teacher Michael Townsend was getting up in Kamloops when the first news came out, here is his reaction:
|Of that Michael I am certain. When the losses become known we are all going to feel
even more anguish and it might be good to think through the process of mourning and
loss because every person, one way or another, will be touched by this and feel the
pain Michael describes.
When confronted with a loss, the first reaction we have is denial. We find it hard to accept that such an event could occur but gradually the reality sinks in and we immediately experience "bargaining" the "What-ifs" come to mind, perhaps if, this or that, or if only this or that, we must have done something to deserve this event and so on, then as sure as winter follows fall, we begin to feel anger, it rages up in us almost uncontrollably and we demand and need some sort of retrobution. After this comes the overwhelming saddness of depression. There are two final stages to this process but most of us have a tough time getting through the preliminaries, but some folks are able to move on to acceptance and a rare group will even go beyond that to hope. Such is the process, everyone must make this journey.
|I sincerely feel the most heart felt sympathy for all those (perhaps thousands) who lost their loved ones this morning, for them there can be no consolence at this time, for their's is to great a loss for us to comprehend, but all across North America, people will do what they can to get through this, let us be compassionate and understanding.|
Timothy W. Shire