September 11, 2001

The aftermath:  Shock, disbelief, rage, fear ...

 ... what was your reaction in learning of the suicide attack?

by the people of Melrose

The SilverStringers sent out a poll via the net, throughout our hometown, to record the reactions, the fears, the initial thoughts we Melrosians experienced as a result of the September 11th attacks. We feel our reactions, which vary from faith to radical retaliation, reflect the thoughts of our country, and perhaps most of the civilized world.

First, what was your reaction in learning of the suicide attack?

Stunned, shock, fear, horrified, disbelief, hatred, revenge. Our responses ran from tears to outrage.

"Abominable, heart-breaking, night-marish ..." This, from a lovely Jewish American lady who lived through World War II in the heart of Europe.

"How could those SOBs do it," one grandfather wrote.

" ... fear that it was only the first wave," another Melrosian said.

" ... frightened at what the future holds," a lady wrote.

From another relative, now in Texas: "I was at work, here in Austin, when the attacks occurred. The striking rememberance is watching the buildings on fire and an engineering co-worker noting that the steel frame of each building would lose its strength due to the heat of the jet-fueled fire and that the buildings would probably collapse. We knew of the secondary tragedy about to occur but could only watch till it happened."

And this from a relative now in Florida. "I was at the car dealership, and the television suddenly went to the New York network. We thought it was a horrible accident. Then the second plane hit ... and we thought it was a Hollywood movie. It couldn't happen in real life. Not in the USA."

From a humanist in town: "Disbelief, but later on that morning, a combination of shock that anyone would do such a thing and a lack of surprise, because humankind has visited such misery on its own kind before, both in terms of scale and heartlessness, though perhaps not quite with the same style.

Most of us thought the first crash must have been a small private plane that had lost its way. We had memories of a bomber crashing into the Empire State Building during World War II.

And from one Mirror editor: "Our intial reaction was horror and disbelief that anyone could be so diabolical and evil to do such a thing. But later, I was thinking of all the people in the world who live with this kind of terror every day ...

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