Ok, So I'm a shitty noder, it's been a long time since I've written, and I need to get some things off my chest. So I have these neighbors, about my age, 24 or so, and we're all in the same boat, the same place in our lives. One, worked for MTV as a cameraman for a while. His roommate was also a pretty cool guy. As I learned shortly after he moved in, he had a problem with alcohol, and I was to make sure that he didn't come down when I had a party so we would be sure he'd stay okay. They decided to make a film together, and went on a two week excursion in the south, interviewing folks looking for a Big Nasty guy. They had investors, a budget, and a great idea. They left on their search with wide eyes and full pockets.

Cut to their return, the good roommate returns alone, with a sad story, the bad roomate having spent all their money on booze, coke, and whores. He conned his ex-girlfriend into giving him $1000 for a ticket to the Cayman islands, where his father lives, and up and left. He took a month's leave from work, and called the good roommate to tell him that he should sell all his stuff to pay for the rent, since he wasn't coming back. While in the Caymans, his father supplied him with copious amounts of prescription drugs, supposedly to deal with his bipolar disorder, but didn't stop his son from drinking.

Fast forward to September 10th, 2001, bad roommate decides to return, and he and his father threaten legal action against good roommate. good roommate changes the locks, and waits for him to return, preparing to call the police on his arrival. His mother arrives to give him moral support, and I send him waves of the best energy I can through the floor that separates us. It gets late, his mother has to go home, and sensibly, he goes home with her, trying to get as far from his problem as possible, hoping to come back the next day, to call the police and talk to bad roommate.

dissolve to sleep....

Harsh cut to blaring noises from my television that I left on because I don't have a sleep function. I look and think "Oh, No! NOT AGAIN!, not like looking out my Stuyvesant High School window oh so many years ago. I wake quickly, and frantically call my family, knowing that none of them were in manhattan. I sigh. They're safe. I call friends and family. As I slowly wake I realize that good roommate will not be able to return, from his mother's and that bad roommate had returned. Bad roommate had passed out outside his door, waiting for his roommate to arrive. About 10 minutes after the second tower fell, I get a call from good roommate, who asks me to go up and check on bad roommate, and give him the phone... I walk out the door to a snow that comes from nowhere but Hell, raining down soot and ash, and papers on my quiet Carroll gardens neighborhood. The fumes are too much to handle. I cough when I get inside upstairs to hand over the phone. Bad roommate is barely coherent... I need not smell him to sense his stupor. His incredulity at the lack of a World Trade Center was matched equally by his incredulity at being awoken. He describes his state as confused, and slurs his words liberally. I haven't heard from many people yet, and I need that phone. Being a generally good person, I can't force him to go anywhere through this rain of fire, and regretfully invite him to my house so he can sober up a bit and come to grips with the situation.

When he stumbles through the door, he immediately begins to drink, having bought some beer at the local deli. His casual attitude offends me, and I try to ignore it as much as possible. My real hesitation for inviting bad roommate into the apartment was my fear that he would attempt to enter his apartment through the backyard. He did. I went up to check on him, and then decided to stay, because with their cable, I could see more than the one channel available to me from my apartment. I know that I'm postponing bad roommate's departure by staying, but cannot remove my eyes from the television as I rapidly change channels.

Montage of phone calls with family, friends and the good roommate. He finally convinces bad roommate to go home. He walks out the door, and grabs, without my notice, the 4 month old kitten there. I run after him, begging him to leave behind the cat. He gets on the train, against my advice.

And sense has utterly left me, and left my world.

/me mourns the innocent.

I would like to relate, if I could, the entirety of my thoughts involving the World Trade Center...what? bombing? incident? tragedy? does it matter?

I promise to be as brief as possible, given the somewhat convoluted way my thoughts travel when I'm upset. I would also like to apologize in advance - I think this is in advance - for posting yet another daylog on this tragic day, and it is my sincerest hope that I'm actually typing up something worthwhile, and not exercising pure redundancy and futilty in the aforementioned relating of thoughts. With that unnecessary wordiness out of the way, I'll begin.

First, my totally true and sincere condolences to all the people affected - that's right, all the people affected - by this. If a loved one has died, or is feared to have died, I wish you well, and am sorry for your loss, and I'll say a prayer for that family member: I probably already have. I apologize to the whole world that had to witness this. I am sorry that our planet is so fucked up, the people so insane that this occurred. My best wishes for your present and continuing safety go out to all of you.

I was awaked at roughly 8:00 AM this morning, forcibly, by my significant other. She opened the door, hysterically happy - she later broke down in tears. She told me, through her grief-induced laughter that the World Trade Center buildings had been attacked. At the precise moment I was coherent enough to reach for a cigarette, Building Number Two fell. I was flabbergasted. I am not ashamed to admit that I burst into peals of laughter. "Fucking Americans, how do you like that!" Now, don't misunderstand: I was roughly twenty percent awake, and thought I was watching the best special effects ever. I don't have personal issues with Americans, but I sometimes have feelings of amusement regarding the strangely attractive patriotism, let's-blow'shit-up mentality you see in the media. (Having known - truly known - very few Americans, I haven't been able to build much of a rapport. I was sarcastically commenting on what I'm seeing.

Friends, and neighbors, it wasn't a joke. It wasn't funny. It wasn't the best special effects ever. My smile turned to mush, and my hand went to my face. I was in shock. My cigarette, unlit and forgotten, fell to the floor.

"Jesus H. Christ." I do say that in real life. "This is real, isn't it?"

Significant other: "You're damn right it is. That's what I've been trying to tell you!"

My sleepily jovial attitude vanished, and I immediately hopped on E2. I'll be honest. After getting partially down my smoke, I found everyone was okay on E2. Thank god for that. I don't know what I'd have done, if I'd lost more friends due to the attack, right after Hermetic died.

/me misses Hermetic

Right about the time that #coverage went up on SlashNET, I was well into posting whatever I heard in #everything about the Canadian happenings and info related to the World Trade Center.

I hadn't felt it yet.

After a time, I started to obsess about things. I'm very good at that, I'll tell you.

For example, ever since I saw the shot of the plane hitting the building, the second one that is, I've been....how have I been? Angry? Sad? Hurt? Happy? Depressed? Who knows? I am unsettled, there, that's a good word. Unsettled. And that's understating the emotion too severely for my taste. But at least you've got an idea. To this very moment, even though I'm happily smoking and chatting away like a fool in #everything, I'm still not sure what I'm feeling. I know that I've been playing the thought in my head about shedding the blood of the people responsible, that I'd feel completely remorseless and even righteous if I had their blood pooling about my feet, drenching my clothes and hair. That'd been there for the last few hours. Would I be like them, I wonder? Would that turn me into a bad person? Or a just one? I haven't decided. And I never will decide.

I've also felt immense, immense sorrow for the people who have died in this tragedy. I keep imagining the lives lost - just as I do Hermetic. I keep thinking about the two people who plummeted a billion, trillion feet - as it must have seemed to them - to their deaths, holding hands. I keep thinking about what must have went through their heads. Well, we're going to die anyway. Let's jump. Take my hand. It's been a pleasure knowing you. And of course, I don't deign to know their thoughts - that's just what pops up in my head. And then I think about the lives, the little existences that we take for granted, that have been lost. There was probably a single mother of two, who had just dropped her kids off to day care, thinking about how annoying her kids were, badgering her the whole way in the care about how they wanted grilled cheese sandwiches for supper. There may have been an old janitor who was thinking about retirement when he heard a loud, horrifying sound and a significant rumble. There was probably a fiftyish man with a dark brown beard in the bathroom, fixing his tie, wondering if his toupee was as bad as he thought it looked. There was probably a man standing at the window, going over what the fuck he was going to do about the IRS on his ass, when a 200 ton piece of flying metal cleaved his office like a knife through creamy cheese, separating him from his tax problems in the most fatal, horrible, terrible, inexcusable way. I wonder if this man turned to look in the pilot's diseased, emptily crazy eyes before he parted this world, and went on to the next. And I wonder if his final thought, before he came face to face with the afterlife, was: I hope I see you in hell, cocksucker. It's you and me, bottom of the ninth, and I've got one SMOKING fucking fastball, pal.

I wonder at the fairness of this world. After the saddening events of today, I find myself absolutely certain that the people who have died have gone on to a better place. That's probably the unkindest cut of all. That is, barring the use of commercial aircraft with dozens of innocent people aboard as a gigantic bomb which is used to take the lives of people I haven't had a chance to fall in love with yet.

I am a person who sees beauty in all things. In humans, I see the potential for great things, the potential to create an idyllic, beautiful existence. I am able to notice the simple architecture of a tree, and to feel warmed by the rough touch of its bark. I like cities, I like how they are, I like the people within. But when I'm dealt such a substantial blow as this, I find my confidence in the world shaken. I find that I am scared that none of us will live to the next chapter.

I cry today. I cry for the kisses that won't be had, the jokes that won't be shared, the books unread and unwritten. I cry for the relationships I no longer have the chance to make. I cry for the lives that have been taken, and I cry for the people that were so misled and controlled by others that they saw it as a good idea to kill untold thousands of people. I cry for the foods left untasted, the cigarettes unsmoked, and the joy unfelt. I cry for all of this, and more.

I cry for everyone, everything today.

The tears have stopped for today; I hope I never have to feel this way again. I hope none of us do.

Tomorrow is another day. Who knows what's going to happen? Maybe George W. Bush will find someone guilty, and delare war. I don't even want to think of any of that. Fuck, I'm having enough trouble sorting out the ramifications of what's already happened, as you can see.

I want to thank you all for reading this, for attempting to understand. I thank you for being there when I needed you. If I kiss you on the way out of here, it's only because I love you, to paraphrase a guy I read once. I apologize again if I've offended anyone with the things I've said. None was meant offensively, I'm ust not always good at the tact thing.

So, be well, everyone, be well, New York City, and everywhere else, try to get some sleep. I love you, and I'm saying prayers for you.

This is a day of many firsts, I think. We all know, by now, the big "first" on everyone's mind. Another that just dawned on me is that some noders are able to write more than one daylog on the same date. I don't mean to sound trite, but it's a singularity that I pray- in absolute earnestness- that never befalls E2 again... the need for multiple daylog pages.

The response to today's tragedy is staggering, both here on E2 and elsewhere. There's not much that has fallen from our President's lips which impressed me, but I think his speech writer put it succinctly: quiet, unyieling anger. This is what I've seen in every American I've talked with today. Many, many, many people (myself included) are extremely pissed. Many of us are quietly waiting for a target upon which our fury can be exacted.

I am not numb with emotion. I am not foaming at the mouth with wrath. I do not want vengeance.

I am overwhelmed with remorse at today's events. I am angry beyond belief that so many innocent lives were taken. I want justice, the best beloved of all things in God's eyes.

I understand that most Americans will want to see the homeland of whoever the transgressor is become a parking lot. I understand that most people have turned the realization of their worst fears into an almost palpable fury. I cannot blame them. Part of me, the part that I keep bottled up deep deep down inside my heart, joins them in a thirst for retalliation.

I went to sleep this morning at around 5:30 AM, having just posted my first daylog for today- regarding the terrible loss of Hermetic. I was exhausted and fell asleep immediately. At 9:10 AM this morning a friend of mine called me, telling me to turn on my TV and why- the second tower had just fallen. I don't own a TV, so I instead decided to log onto E2 and watch the catbox. I figured that online news services would be clogged and my suspicions were confirmed by everyone in the catbox. A greater disaster than New York was brimming, I could feel it somewhere in my soul, from all directions. People all around me, people I don't even know the names of, were radiating disbelief, shock, anger and fear and it was all bombarding me like crazy. Their emotional upheaval coupled with mine immediately made me sick to my stomach. Luckily I had some Tagamet to calm my stomach.

I went upstairs to see if anyone was home- that is to say, my landlord's family, whom I live behind in my very own cabin. Carl, the eldest son, was alseep. I pounded on his door and woke him up. "Get up, Carl. This is a day you won't want to miss. You'll kick yourself in the ass later of you sleep through this. History is going on. Wake up. Now." He groggily asked why and I told him- that seemed to do the trick. He was on his feet in seconds, mumbling something about impossibilities. I moved my way into the living room, turned on the TV to the local Fox affiliate, pointed at it and said to Carl, "Man, this shit is not only possible, it's happening. Good morning, America. This is someone's not so subtle way of saying, 'Surprise! I'm fuckin' ya!' Sit down, have a smoke and watch." I left him alone and went back to my cabin so I could call my parents.

Mom answered. I told her it was me calling. I didn't need to ask her if she'd heard. I know my family. They know everything before everyone else. I sometimes wonder if they have a direct line to... damn well someone who gets news before the rest of us. She immediately told me that my sister, Holly, is stranded in New Jersey but perfectly safe. Her husband, my brother-in-law who worked at the WTC on the 33rd floor, was at a friend's house in Manhattan, 3 miles from ground zero. Apparently he'd had a late night last night and overslept. My sister had been visiting the family here in Nashville and was scheduled to arrive back in NYC today- via New Jersey. Both are safe, if separated. Giachery, my brother-in-law, reports that the explosion of the first plane's impact woke him up. His first thought was that he was late for work and was ready to bolt out the door until he looked out the window and saw that his place of business was smoking- then collapsing. Work, he decided, would have to wait. That was all I needed to hear. Mom told me that she had tons of other calls to make, that she loves me and that prayers were in order. I agreed wholeheartedly.

I smoked a cigarette and then packed my things for the day. I was bound for Cafe Coco. You see, I was supposed to have a job interview today at TGI Friday's at 2 PM. Since Cafe Coco is on the same block as Friday's, I figured that waiting there and being around friends would be preferable to sitting in my cabin and biting my nails. My job interview was cancled, and me without a penny to my name. News reports came over the airwaves like a flood. I sat there, drinking my coffee and smoking my cancer sticks, and listened closely to what they were saying... and paying attention to what they weren't saying. For every single thing the media tells you, there's ten things they're not telling you. Always remember that. In a situation like this, particularly when war is concerned, it is mostly a disinformation game.

The whole day was spent sitting around and listening to friends speculate about what would happen next- all that jazz. I just sat back and quietly nodded or helped someone articulate an idea or two, but kept silent mostly. Then a particular friend comes up, sits down, opens up my book bag (which I always carry with me, in case I get the urge to write something), withdraws one of my notebooks and flips open to a page he'd read last year. He began reading it out loud, announcing the date, "November 15, 2000..."

"... It's like everyone I run into has these blinders on, focusing only on what's right at their noses, meanwhile there's a Mack truck careening towards us. I can't put it any simpler: war is coming. I'm not talking about that silly shit ten years ago in Iraq- this is the real deal. You want a timeframe? How's June, 2001 or later that summer grab ya? Laugh if you want, but it is coming and there's no stopping it. People need to learn to read between the lines, dammit!

"This pony show in Florida is just the appetizer, not even an inkling of the things to come. It's the entertainment before the real show begins. Here's how it happens, in a nut shell:

"Bush will win, as much as it pains me to say so.
"Israel will break out into full-scale civil war.
"The war in Israel will begin to spread, quickly, to countries between Jews and Muslims predominantly, but both will come "under fire" from the rest of the world to stop fighting- particularly America will try to force peace.
"For sticking its nose into Israel's business, there will be a bombing on American domestic soil- a big one, perhaps nuclear in nature, perhaps not, but unmistakable. I'm thinking March or May- perhaps April or the beginning of the summer.
"From there things will really get crazy. A month or less later America will declare war in the Middle East and then a couple of Islamic nations will jump in (I'm thinking a desperation move by Iraq or Afghanistan).
"Bosnia will go right back to its normal schedule of civil war (it's already begun picking up steam again)- more Muslim fanatics will get involved.
"Russia will panic and begin a small skirmish with Iran or Turkey or Afghanistan. Iraq, of all countries, will come to the rescue of its fellow Islamic nations while attacking the US at the same time.
"France and Britain, our old Allies, will come to America's aid, if begrudgingly. They will also have some problems of their own to handle, probably financial in nature."

Everyone sitting around just stared at me and then glared. "Why didn't you say anything about this, Jay? You fucking knew!" Someone else complimented me on my crystal ball. A young woman excused herself to go throw up in the bathroom. There are times when I don't mind people reading my personal journal, but sometimes a friend just doesn't know the meaning of discretion. Okay, so it was out, I knew that it was coming. I defended myself by saying that I was easily months off. If I'd said anything about it to many people other than just my friends, I'd be in a bad position. Oh, the shit got stirred up over that! Who was I to withold that kind of information?; How could I be so calloused?; Don't I care about human life? The last really pissed me off. Of course I care about human life! But these things were already set in motion! There was no way to stop them! I wasn't playing God and I was far from calloused. I've spent the last three months in spiritual and emotional agony over this because I could practically smell it in the air. I've been sick to my stomach with stress and anxiety for weeks!

I had to go into this whole diatribe about the fact that I am not a prophet or any other such nonsense. I just see things between the lines. If anyone had paid close enough attention, they'd have seen it coming, too! It simply made sense back then. A+B+C= stay the fuck out of major cities.

I am emotionally and spiritually devastated by the massive loss of life my country has experienced today, all in the name of a religion that abhors injustice- Islam. I am a Baha'i. I learned an awful lot about other religions and I've got to tell you quite simply, that Muhammed would never condone what happened today. He would most likely have broken down in tears over this insanity. I am not Muslim, but I believe that the world's major religions come from the same source... this includes Islam. I cannot believe that Islam is responsible for today's massacre, as God would not instruct us, His children, to kill each other so frivolously.

The blood of tens of thousands of innocents is not on God's hands. He is not responsible for this overwhelming tragedy. These were the actions of some very, very ill people with very small-minded ideals, mostly cultural and corrupt in nature. I pray that justice is served, but vengeance will only beget more violence. This is my ardent wish and hope: that no more needless blood is shed.

But by looking at the situation now, from a pragmatic point of view, things look bad, bad, bad. US military bases are practically ghost towns now, most of the mechanized infantry gearing up for mobilization. Navy SEALS have been called in. Marine Special Forces are on alert and many recon officers have been told to have a good night, but expect to be called into action tomorrow. All this military preparedness would not be happening if the US wasn't 100% sure of who to take the battle to. My gut is telling me that the media has been told explicitly to stay focussed on New York while the US gets set to make its move. I expect military action to be taken either early Wednesday (today) or later in the evening. Perhaps it'll be a very public assassination. Perhaps it'll be a massive invasion. Perhaps it'll be an air strike the likes of which we've never seen before. Whatever it is, our military leaders are pulling out the big guns and are ready to rock.

The bottom line, in all of this, is that the US military will get its wish: more funding for better intelligence. As horrid as today's terror is, it has all the earmarks of what the military community calls a "Fund Raiser"- a very clear example of what can happen if they don't get their way. You can be rest assured that Congress will send funding to the intelligence community so fast, Western Union would be jealous.

The show has just started, folks. If you think we're in a state of war now, just wait a few more hours- then the real fun begins. I wonder who will end up smiling once it's all over? My money says that no one will be left smiling.

You can call me crazy if you like. Nuclear war isn't impending, but chaos is about to strike the third rock from the sun. I see it coming like it's painted in day-glo and you know what? I'm even more pissed than I was this morning.

Like the millions around the globe, I was one of the individuals that found out about this atrocity during the morning news. Sheer disbelief, complete utter confusion, depleted human spirit. I ask why, but to no avail. I am not directly connected to New York as I live in Canada, yet I still feel the pain. I wonder what is to come. War. Mass hysteria. A miracle. Yet now, I have stopped asking the questions but have tried to start the healing process of the many people I help online as an online counsellor. An internal dilemma. How does the blind lead the blind? I myself do not know how to feel. Am I to deem this as an act of Nostradamus' prophecy? As a sheer act of the evils of humanity? As an attack on what many nations believe is the isolationist propaganda of the United States? It doesn't matter. I'm not one of great words, but I wish that mere words can utter what my humanity feels for the ones lost and for people who have lost someone.

Hermetic. I never knew you yet I feel your importance to this community. For the words that you have said, the words you wanted to say, and the words that you would have said, we miss you. I don't know whether it is appropriate as I don't know him very well but at this moment, /me misses hermetic.

To the ones who have lost someone out there, may the prayers of millions around the world help you console the pain that you have been forced to deal with, by inhuman shadows that lurk in the dark, that refuse to face you because of the guilt of their atrocities. May the wishes of the world help you at the time where you need it most.

For myself, it has been a day of contemplation and inner words. I wrote this today on my journal:

I will not dream fluffy dreams nor nightmares that I am so accustomed to. My disbelief has ground my senses to almost a numbing pain. I think to myself "I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..." and find myself afraid of the consequences to happen. I try to not ask myself what or why things happen, but I am apprehensive about the coming days. How am I to help the ones that ask me for help? I think to myself "Oceans apart...Day after day..." from Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx. What am I to do. I don't know how to feel. I want to be able to understand and help the ones who need it but I know I'm neither completely able to or completely willing to. If war was to break out, I am not completely satisfied with everything else but for today, nothing else matters. For the first time, I feel the global community that I never completely understood.

Let destiny determine what is to happen. Do not let me know. I rather not know. I will not listen to the sounds of life that is to come. Nor will I remember the future for I will not live a life more than once. While my life may feel short, I ask that I be wrong. If I am not, do not let me know. For now, let the tears and blood of the victims teach the world what they need to do. If they need me, they need only ask me. Until then, let me fear the future in peace.
At 8am Eastern Daylight Time I got out of bed and turned on the Today show while I ate a little cereal. Nothing but the mundane being discussed. I put my running clothes on and left the house around 8:35 for a 6 mile run. 50 minutes later I came inside and put on some music; I stretched, showered, dressed, and left for work. Since it was clear and cool, I decided on the 20 minute walk over the 5 minutes bike. I stopped into a cafe for a 20 oz coffee to go. I chose to walk up the 3 flights of stairs to my office. Just as I put my key into the lock, the phone rang. I wasn't surprised when I heard my dad's voice; it was a usual time to hear from him.
"Miles, I'm okay."

"Umm, ok." I thought, so am I. Then it occurred to me that something must have happened in the New York City area. An accident.

"You haven't heard anything?"

"No."

"A plane flew into the World Trade Center." My thoughts: a private plane, a mishap, dozens of people hurt, the pilot dead.

"An accident?"

"No. There were two planes, I think. Something's happened at the Pentagon too."

"Jesus Christ."

"I was on the PATH train toward the Center, and they diverted us. I could see flames coming from one of the towers. When I got to work, they were both on fire. Next time I looked out my window, there was only one tower standing. And the next time, it was gone too. I called your sister and grandma, they know I'm okay."

My dad commutes through the World Trade Center everyday. A decade ago, he had an office is World Trade Center Two (IIRC), the South Tower, the one without the big steeple. If his schedule had been only slightly different, I would have heard about the attack on the web and through coworkers. I would have spent all day yesterday trying to contact him, waiting with my heart in my throat for news, any news. Even knowing how close my father was to this tragedy, I can't imagine what the day would have been like if I hadn't heard about the tragedy from him.

These attacks are the saddest, scariest events of my life. I have the deepest sympathy for the families of those many people murdered yesterday.

I woke up at about 7am in my flat in San Francisco and already something was strange. As I came to consciousness I realized my girlfriend's mother was leaving a message on our answering machine. This was not that unusual, she often calls really early, but what she was saying was strange. Planes were crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "Things are happening in the world, honey, go turn on the TV, and be careful." Jay's Mom is sort of a neurotic hypochondriac so at first I thought she had just flipped out. But I reached over and turned on the clock radio and listened to the NPR reporters and then I knew it was true.

We're so far away, and I don't know very many people in New York City. So it seemed so unreal as I sat, for the next couple hours, in front of the TV and the computer, reading stories and watching the endlessly looped footage collage of destruction and carnage. A guy on the cyborganic list who used to live in New York started an "ok" list, all the people he knew there were emailing in and he was then posting the list periodically to the mailing list, as well as personal reports from these people. It started to feel more real as I read these, and I felt so much better, somehow more healthy, reading these first-hand accounts, than I felt watching the news on TV.

A few other Cyborganic types in New York reported in, and Wobbly reported that his girlfriend was okay. She worked further uptown at a law firm. She had been working on a brief that was due that day at noon, and she kept working on it just to keep her mind off the horrible events. But then she noticed the clients address was "2 World Trade Center". So I guess it wasn't due at noon anymore....

There wasn't a lot I could do, and I was uncertain how I should go about my day. I thought about giving blood, but found out that the blood banks were all full all over the bay area already. Other than that and the closure of a few government buildings and the Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco was pretty normal. But after thinking about it I resolved that I would not just go and do what I had been planning to do that day. It was not useful to anyone but myself, but it was a symbolic gesture, to sort of tell myself that I was deeply effected by this.

Since I'm planning to go to Australia next week, I've been reading the Sydney Morning Herald on line. It's fascinating seeing news events through the eyes of another country, and I knew today's events would be no exception. I ended up reading a lot of the Herald's coverage. It was really interesting noting the difference in viewpoint. The way they concentrated on Australian citizens who might have been involved, the story of the Prime Minister who happened to be in Washington, and was evacuated from his hotel to the Australian Embassy for safety. The Herald also seemed less squeamish, sooner, about reporting the more grisly aspects of the WTC events, for example, witnesses commenting on the sound that bodies made when they hit the street after falling 80 floors. yech.

I began to realize that Americans and especially New Yorkers were now on an end of a spectacular relation that they are not usually on. That is, they were being viewed from far away by the whole world as they lived through this horrible nightmare which had very little tangible effect to many of the viewers. We are used to being on the other side of that relation. But disasters of this magnitude happen very often, all over the world. Just think, New York is about as far away from San Francisco as Yugoslavia is from New York.

I share more with them because they are my countrymen, but imagine the dispassionate gaze from other countries, and think about that next time there is a giant earthquake in Turkey or mass famine in Africa or the next time NATO bombs some tiny, poor nation. Of course we are getting more attention, because we virtually control the media worldwide, but we are not more important than everyone else. We make ourselves the center of the world, but we are not. I hope that if anything good comes of this event, it will be that a great many Americans realize this. If we treat the other peoples of the world like they matter, then perhaps this kind of tragedy will not be repeated. But if we continue to throw our weight around the planet like we have been, I fear that this is only the beginning of the "Attack on America".

Someone on the television yesterday said "perhaps America's luck has finally run out." I sure hope not, but if it has, it's our own fault.

Spirit of Life - Reflections on 9/11/2001

While at a candle light vigil held at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta this evening, I had the following hymn enter my mind when the minister mentioned something briefly about the spirit of life that is still in us. The words have yet to leave my mind.

Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.

For me, these words are beyond fitting for the atrocities that happened today.

"Spirit of Life, come unto me." Let me not be lost in the death that occurred today. Remind me that there are still those living, those that need help, support, and complete love. Remind me that I am still living, that I cannot behave as though I am not, despite the tragedy and loss.

"Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion." Let me have compassion for the innocents caught in the World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon, the planes that were turned into killing machines. And for the families and friends of those people. For all those touched by these horrendous events. And let me also have compassion for those innocents that may yet pay the blood price for the actions of others. If the United States goes to war - as is being hotly postulated - there will be countless more innocents lost because of the actions of a few people in power.

"Blow in the wind, rise in the sea." As rescue personnel work to find and hopefully save all those trapped within the remains of the towers of the World Trade Center, let cleansing winds carry away the despair as they will the ash. By this I by no means intend carry away the memory of the tragedy or the feelings of loss, but rather let all those effected by the events of today be able to grieve and thus eventually heal. Crippling despair will not help, but grieving will.

"Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice." Let those who are in power and will be the ones to give the answer to this horrific disaster truly act to bring justice - not blind, reactionary revenge. Let justice be visited upon those who truly are responsible, and not upon the heads of more innocents.

"Roots hold me close, wings set me free." May the families, friends, and loved ones of all affected by today's events hold to each other; talk, cry, rail at the unfairness of it all, love, and grieve. May those who have died in this catastrophe be remembered with love and fond memories, and not a blinding desire for revenge - now is the time for healing.

"Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me."

May the Divine Spirit - in whatever form you know that to be - give you peace and healing in this time of loss and pain.

Originally posted in my online diary at: http://ladypoetess.diaryland.com/spiritlife.html

It's amazing and scary to walk into English class right after a sleepy homeroom to find teachers crowded around a TV, and getting responded to with "Two airplanes have crashed into the WTC buildings.

It's amazing how much the world can change in 24 hours.

(Haven't looked at many of the WUs above, but) Anyone notice that yesterday's date was 9/11?
The unreal reality

I went to a lecture as usual. I had lunch with my friends, we laughed and went to the study room for read about constitutional law. I fell asleep on my desk but was awakened by my vibrating phone. I picked it up and read on the tiny display; 8 missed calls. My workplace had called. I didn't quite understand what was up, so I called them. No 'hi' or 'hello', just 'all fucking hell is loose, get fuck over here now! *click*'. Since I had returned the call, my display was now glowing with another message; '6 unread SMS messages'. My friend had sent messages. I read them as I would read a Tom Clancy novel. 'Plane crashed in WTC', 'Two planes crashed', 'Pentagon attacked'. My legs began shaking, and I ran towards the newspaper where I work. Now I thought a mainland attack on the US was in effect, and the impression was only amplified when I reached the newsdesk on the 7th floor where all the TV screens showed something that vaugely looked like New York. I asked what was up and a person told me that someone had crashed some planes into the buildings. Actually I was relieved, since I thought this was a full scale military attack on the US. The relief was short, however when I realized the dimensions of this carnage. Then the building collapsed. I saw journalists with war experience gape in disbelief of what they saw. None of us would believe it. The next hours were a blur of stress, CNN and work.

Util I did a story on grievers in Oslo. People walked to the now heavily guarded american embassy and put down flowers and lit candles. And cried.

You are all in our prayers.

Even those of us who are atheists.

I read a page every day in a Food for Thought book by Hazelden, a 12 step publisher. September 11th's page stressed the importance and meaning of living for today, because we don't know what will happen tomorrow.

I thought it was kind of apropos.

I work about a mile or less from the Pentagon. On Tuesday, people in the office watched the smoke fill the sky in Washington. Several people heard an explosion about half an hour after the Pentagon was hit. I didn't hear it, I wasn't near a window.

We watched the TV in the President's office, and talked about the rumors flying around. We saw the footage of the plane smashing into the World Trade Center, the smoke, the insanity. Everyone was terrified, most people started leaving right away. I couldn't leave as the MARC train wasn't running.

I had to catch a ride with my boss's boss, who didn't leave until 4 or so. We all thought there would be more attacks and bombs, and being within blocks of the Congress and the Senate on Capitol Hill was nerve-wracking that day. When we finally left, as we drove north towards Baltimore on I-95, a big sign advised us not to go to New York City as there had been an "incident" and traffic was really bad. We had to laugh at the understatement of it, it was just absurd. It still doesn't seem real. /me misses Hermetic

I didn't get a chance to meet Hermetic at the noder's meet coming up in October. He sounded happy to be coming, and meeting people, and offered his services giving rides to people. I was shocked and floored by his untimely decision. I'm truly sorry you had so much pain, Adam.

My heart goes out to everyone involved in this terrible tragedy. My prayers and my love - Jamie

Today I was planning on writing a cover letter for an interesting job I'd spotted yesterday, otherwise looking for work and calling to make an appointment to get my hair cut.

Around 8:30am the phone rang. I ignored it and it went to voicemail. It rang again. Ugh. Maybe I should go get that. Went to voicemail. Started ringing again. I fling my robe on and lurch sleepily from my bedroom down the hall into the dining area and grab the phone.

"Some planes crashed into the world trade center and the pentagon and oh my god the world is coming to an end!"
It's my girlfriend, caller-id shows her work and I recognize her voice, if not her tone.
"Mmmurrgh."
"It's so horrible. People dying, buildings exploding. I heard about it in the coffee shop before I went into work this morning."
"Oh god. That sounds terrible."
More coherent details follow. Somehow I figure out that the WTC is in New York. We end the phone call and I hang up. I'm not really awake yet, but I will be soon enough.

I turn on the TV. They're showing footage of very tall burning buildings, an explosion from the second plane hitting the towers, smoke erupting from the pentagon, fire, smoke, billowing clouds of ash.

Do I know anybody around either place? I think my cousin was living around there at one point, but I'm pretty sure she's in Kansas or someplace else flat now. My aunt works for the Navy, but that's China Lake in the middle of the Mojave. Most of my family just flew back to their respective houses a week ago from the wedding. My other cousin is in Thailand for another 2 and a half weeks on her honeymoon. I can't think of anybody. My father came back from Malaysia last week and doesn't fly off to China until Sunday.

More television. More smoke. More fire. More terrible deaths. More details. We get about 50 channels on our cable. I flip through, counting: 20 have something resembling normal programming, 30 are now CNN, CBS, Fox or "We're off the air, go watch your news channel". VH1 is CBS but MTV looks normal. Later MTV becomes CBS, too. More angles of the same horrors. More rumours disguised as news and news disguised as rumours. CNN.com's website has become beautifully simple; a few static pages. NPR's website is even sparser, with not much other than a link to a very slow (and intermittent) realaudio feed. Most of the "regular" programming was Kid's stuff: PBS kid's programming, Disney channel, Nickelodeon; I suppose it's good for them to stay on the air.

Wait! Derek's father just moved to NY. I chat with friends a bit online. Eventually I find out his father lives in the distant suburbs and everything's fine there.

I eat some of the baked beans I'd put in the oven Sunday night.

I didn't do any of the things I planned to do today; I watched TV, I talked with friends online, I tried to figure out and understand what the hell's happened.

It hasn't really sunk in.

And I worry that this could be turned into an excuse to take away our freedoms. Or this could be the start of WWIII.

I suppose it doesn't matter much that I didn't send off that cover letter. I'm sure I can pay October's rent somehow. It's not like there were any job postings today, anyways.

Around noon I'm talking to my girlfriend again. We both realize that the NBLUG meeting scheduled for tonight should probably be cancelled. After I get off the phone with her I go and look at my email; it's already been cancelled.

No... My cousin moved from Kansas to DC. I hope she's okay.

The piece of news from today that will stick freakishly in my head is, natch, not about The Biphallic Edefii. Nope nope. That is too big to cope with.

In the Metro, a 'commuter newspaper' that I read on the subway on the way to work, there is a small item with the header (in bold type) CRIME, credited to the Spanish news service Diario Informacion. In terse, journalistic shorthand, it notes that in Spain, five people (a Frenchman, a British couple, and two Swiss tourists) have been arrested in a park. Their crime: filming themselves having an orgy. The article goes on to conclude by noting that the police were upset to find that the fivesome were undismayed by their arrest, and continued (presumably where they'd left off) in the back of the police van in which they had been incarcerated.

The term 'European Union' will never be the same again.

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” Life and history cannot be divorced from each other, as we have learned once again; and once again, we have seen how quickly the entire world will change, while we’re busy making other plans.

In the early hours of December 7, 1941, many Americans were in bed, or going to church, their minds more focused, no doubt, on the upcoming holidays than on much else. By the day’s end, however, America had changed—-we had been attacked, brought into a war that was already raging across much of the globe. Things have never been the same since.

When I awoke on September 11, 2001, my thoughts were focused more on how I didn’t want to get out of bed and commute through rush-hour traffic, just to sit in my German language class, wishing I had another cup of coffee. I thought about how wonderful the weekend before had been, how I had spent it as a playwright working with actors and directors in Philadelphia. I thought about how much I hoped the lunch in my bag hadn’t been smashed accidentally by my school books. I’m sure some variation of what I was thinking was going through the minds of most Americans as they traveled to work or school. I didn’t think the world would change. Yet as I entered the parking lot of my university, the music was interrupted by a news broadcast—a jet plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. After ten minutes of listening to this report, a second plane hit the other tower. The reality of what had happened would not sink in for at least two hours, and by then, the Pentagon had been hit, and both towers had collapsed, killing thousands.

First numbness comes—-shock, the unreality of what happened. The thoughts that, “This couldn’t happen here; especially not New York!” Then the anger and grief, the realization that thousands may be dead—more than any number since World War II. That anger is an important part of the process cannot be denied. But it is with sadness and disgust that I hear the stories of Arab Americans, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and other dark-skinned people, harassed, threatened; their homes, businesses, and houses of worship vandalized. American citizens are harassing them, and American citizens—our own people—are the victims. This is not what America is about.

America has survived revolution, occupation, riots, genocide, slavery, several economic depressions, civil war, two world wars, and terrorist actions, committed both by outsiders and by our own citizens. Still we survive. Why? Because the beautiful thing about America is that we exist not as a tribe, but as an idea. We do not exist because a group of people happened to live in one spot for a thousand years. America is not an ethnic group. You need not subscribe to any creed; you need not be any race. The only thing you need to be an American is the belief in the freedom and equality of all people. Rich or poor, black or white, man or woman, Gentile, Jew, or Muslim-—we are all equal and deserving of freedom, and we can all be Americans. This is our greatest strength as a nation—-the ability to accept the best and brightest the world has to offer, and make it our own; the ability to be not so much a melting pot, but a sharing of cultures, of the beauty of understanding and diversity. We will not let what happened on September 11 take this most fundamental belief from us; we will cherish what makes us American. We must not let our emotions, our anger, rule our intellect, and give up those unique beliefs and rights which make us American.

As the poet Dylan Thomas would say, we will “not go gentle into that good night/ {but} rage, rage, against the dying of the light.” The light of freedom will not be extinguished by the actions of a few, but will burn even brighter through the union of the diverse people of this nation; through this union, we will truly earn the name the United States.


dem bones says : You don't have to, but you may consider moving your 'call to america' to the daylog, part III, of that awful day. I actually value these last couple of daylogs because they reveal an incredible number of perspectives... it's nice to have them all together...

Done and done.

I feel I should add my own experiences here. I'm not sure why, but last Tuesday was a day like no other.

The day started normally, like all those other ordinary days I don't write daylogs for. And then, at some time before 3pm local time, a colleague from a different part of the office walked in while I was chatting to my immediate boss. She said a few words to another co-worker, and was greeted by a gasp of disbelief. Gradually we realised something was up, and all gravitated over to this co-worker's computer, where she had pulled up sky.com - every other news website being down.

At that time, to the best of my knowledge, both towers were still standing.

There were confused eyewitness reports. Some said a light aircraft or a prop-driven local flight had struck one tower. But the main story made the truth abundantly clear. Two airliners had struck the towers. Both towers were on fire. Other reports suggested that there had been incidents at the Pentagon, the Capitol, the White House and in Pennsylvania, and that as many as eleven planes might be missing.

At that point, we had to go to an hour-long presentation on the government initiative 'Investors in People'. No mention was made of the unfolding tragedy. We were told, by an ineffectual consultant, how, er, wonderful it would be to have our entire organisation audited by government agents for various forms of good HR practice. Apparently we were supposed to be pleased that the number of criteria for the scheme had been lowered to twelve. I was so far past caring about this stuff I couldn't see it with binoculars.

We returned to the office, and I loaded up the news site again.

Both towers have collapsed.

I went into shock. For I know not how long, I sat at my place, shivering like a leaf, unable to think or read. No-one else said anything - they may not have reacted as I did, but an instant funereal air descended. Eventually I roused myself, and finished the day's work in a mechanical fashion.

St James' Park London Underground station was closed when I got there, sealed by a kind of blast door. Apparently there had been a security alert at Victoria. I walked to Westminster, noticing the eerie absence of aircraft overhead. I took the Jubilee Line, and arrived home to find my family solemnly watching the television news. We ate a subdued dinner, and then tried to rally our spirits. Without meaning any disrespect to anyone, we read some scenes from a Shakespeare comedy we had been studying - A Midsummer Night's Dream. At ten o'clock we turned the news back on, and the horror came flooding back. As I saw the images of people waving from the upper floors of the doomed buildings moments before their collapse, I fled from the room, crying. Those images still haunt me. Other scenes from that day will live with me forever, but those particular scenes of human despair will be the ones which give me nightmares.

Today, September 17, 2001, I got bad news. Nothing directly related to the tragedy in New York, but the items of bad news have served to reinforce a sombre mood whose lifting I can only await patiently.
September 19, 2001; Pre-WWIII.

There was a terrible disaster on September 11, 2001, just over a week ago at the time of this writing. I myself have had, as I'm sure you all have, plenty of thoughts about this. I would be happy (. . . well, maybe not happy, but quite willing) to share these, but here, I'd like to share the insightful thoughts of someone else with an important perspective and message.

I received this as a forwarded email. As such, I think it's safe to assume that this thoughtful writer would support my spreading it as many ways as I can. I haven't been around on e2 of late, so please forgive me if this has already been noded--if it makes 1 more person read it because I'm posting it now, it's worth it. If this makes sense to you, then I guess I don't even have to ask you to pass it on.
As always, I'm open to (and, indeed, greatly appreciate) any suggestions/corrections/requests/any feedback for improvement of the presentation here. Thanks. And my humanity thanks you for reading this.

UPDATE: I've been made aware that dannye had in fact already written this up, so in place of the text, I forward you here to his writeup at the circle game. It's just one more click.

So much has been said, so much has been written...I didn't want to trivialize the event by jumping on the bandwagon but I can't hold it in any longer. Yes, the attacks on the World Trade Center. It's been close to two weeks since it happened and I suppose I should feel better by now. I don't...I cry at least two or three times a day. I live in the U.S. and have a very patriotic family. All of the men in my family have been in some branch of the armed forces...I was even in the air force for a short period of time. I feel so lucky to live here...my heart used to swell with pride when I would hear patriotic songs like 'America, the Beautiful' or 'God Bless America.' I've heard these songs more times than I can count on every radio station several times a day since the attacks...and everytime I hear one I cry...and I'm still not sure why. I didn't know anyone in who was killed or affected...I'm not scared that I will be next. I've never cried so hard or so often for so many people who I don't know. I don't know if it's really registered in my brain yet that what I witnessed live on television WAS ACTUALLY LIVE....it wasn't a movie. People were jumping from the buildings...people in wheelchairs who couldn't use the stairs where trapped inside...hundreds of firemen and police officers who were there to help were crushed as the buildings fell. Thousands dead....thousands injured....all of us affected. Children will grow up without mothers and fathers. Men and women will grow old without their soulmates. Mothers and fathers have outlived their children.
My heart hurts....my soul cries out.

I heard on the radio that an airplane had just hit the World Trade Center, a bi-plane according to one witness. Curious, I turned on the TV and discovered that it had not been a bi-plane, but a massive jetliner. I thought to myself, "This is a major disaster." And I thought it couldn't get much worse than that.

But then the second jet hit the other tower.

This is horrible, I thought. This is an intentional act of terrorism. And I thought it couldn't get worse.

But then the Pentagon was hit, and then another jet crashed in Pennsylvania. My God, I thought, it couldn't get worse.

But then I learned those jets were full of people. Mothers and daughters and sons and fathers. And I thought it couldn't ever get worse than that.

But then one tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. It just fell in on itself, and in a few seconds it was gone. And I thought it couldn't get worse.

But then the other tower collapsed as well. Only a cloud of smoke and dust remained where two of the most important buildings in the world had stood. And I thought it couldn't get worse.

But then they began to estimate how many people had been in those towers. And I thought, surely, it couldn't possibly get any worse.

But then an old man in Huntington, NY, tried to run over a Pakistani woman in the parking lot of a shopping mall and followed her into a store and threatened to kill her for "destroying my country." And a man in a ski mask in Gary, IN fired an assault rifle at the gas station where Hassan Awdah, a U.S. citizen born in Yemen, was working. And 19-year-old Colin Zaremba said, "I'm proud to be American and I hate Arabs and I always have," as he marched with a crowd of 300 to a mosque in the suburbs of Chicago. And in Australia, a school bus carrying Muslim children was stoned, and vandals tried to set fire to a Lebanese church.

And I thought it couldn't get any worse.

But then people began to talk of retaliation, about punishment, about a possible ground war, about the "nuclear option." They started talking about how the American people have to be prepared for many "difficult" things, such as heavy casualties among our American troops.

I thought it couldn't get any worse. I was wrong. It can always get worse. And it most certainly will get worse, if this act of violence and terror makes us forget the values of love and reason.

Consider this my personal plea to you, to everyone:

Don't make it worse than it already is.

Understanding the Magnitude of Victims

At last count there are over six thousand people missing and presumed dead from the attacks on September 11th. I have been watching the coverage from a distance. I live thousands of miles from New York City. A city I have long admired yet never visited. I love architecture and have always wanted to look out over NYC from the top of the WTC. I guess that will never happen. (At least not as it was.) But more than that I will never meet any of the people that are gone. Since the day it happened I have been trying to come up with a way to understand the magnitude of this disaster. I have found a way to put some perspective on the number of victims.

I don't meet too many people at work. My circle of friends is small but close. So it is a rare occation when I meet someone new on more that a superficial level. One day I happen to meet someone. A person that I sit down with and get to know. I learn about their life. Their family. Their job. Someone that I can call a friend.

Now that doesn't happen to me every day. But let's say it does. That tomorrow I meet another someone new. And the next day, and the next. In a week I have met seven new friends. In a month I've met thirty. In a year I've met three hundred and sixty five people that bring something into my life. This continues to happen every day. Two years and nine months pass and I have met one thousand new friends.

That is a lot of people. But to meet over six thousand people one day at a time it takes about sixteen and a half years. Think about that a little bit. Sixteen years. It will be 2017 before six thousand days have passed. What memories do you have over the last sixteen years? You can't remember every day, but just the ones you do remember are special. Every day is special. Every one of those victims were special. Try to think about them a little each day for the next sixteen years.

On September 11th, 2001...

35,615 children died of starvation.

where: poor countries
special tv programs: none
newspaper articles: none
messages from the President: none
solidarity acts: none
minutes of silence: none
organized forums: none
messages from the Pope: none
stock exchanges: didn't care
Euro: wasn't affected
alert level: zero
army mobilization: none
conspiracy theories: none
main suspects: rich countries

- from Ye Drunken Sailor, the Freyheyt collective's 'zine. Don't upvote me, you bonehead - do something about it!

September 11, 2001 will forever be etched in my memory.
I was at work here in Utrecht, The Netherlands when I heard the news about the terrorist attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. We turned on the tv, and watched the images on CNN. My mind instantly went into zombie-mode when I saw what happened, and all I could think of was Robert.

Robert was my brother. He worked in the WTC 2 days a week. Unfortunately on that dreadful Tuesday in September, he was there.
It's all so unreal. Two days before 9/11 I had spoken to him on the phone, planning when he would come over to see Holland. One day before 9/11 I received a postcard from him, from when he was on holiday in Canada, which had taken about 3 weeks to get here. When I checked my e-mail in the morning I got a message from him, that he finally found a certain cd he was looking for. Before that day was over, he was gone.

I know he's somewhere up there, watching over me. I miss you Rob. Just make sure I won't visit you any time soon.

As I write this, it's a bit after midnight on November 28, 2001. I don't know why I'm writing this, but somehow it feels good. Even though I'm not a huge fan of military actions, I do hope that this time it will serve its purpose and bring those responsible for the 9/11 tragedy to justice.

A young boy, just 11 years old is sitting in his grade school math class, waiting for his next one and eventually his return home, it's early in the morning. All is normal with the day thus far. The teacher wheels a television set into the room and turns it on, quickly flicking through the channels to find the news, apparently something important is going on, though nobody can tell what. Through the first playthrough of the clip on the TV set, nobody is quite sure what they're seeing, but they do know that there's a couple of buildings with smoke pouring out of them.

The teacher slowly, calmly explains what's going on, she tells us that some bad people have crashed a plane into the World Trade Center buildings. Those buildings sound important to me but I still don't really get the significance of the whole thing happening. She continues to describe what's going on as the light of realization starts to click in my class' minds. I realize that there's a huge attack on my country going on, someone mentions this is likely going to be in the history books someday. Some of my classmates start to react, realizing that they have some family possibly in those towers. People are dying, burning, something horrible happened on this day, and I'm only scratching the surface of how it will affect me. The teacher tells us that we're going home early today, and about all of the things that are happening all around. I have no idea what this will mean for the future, but I know it'll probably be a while before this cools off.

Skip ahead exactly nine years, I'm here in Afghanistan now wearing gray digital camouflage and armed with an M4 assault rifle. I'm sitting in an office answering radios for people who are out there. A couple of years ago in a burst of patriotism (and lack of a job) I signed up for service in the Maine Army National Guard. Maybe it was all the chants of "we will never forget", or the countless patriotic country songs, maybe it was the latent boiling hatred for whatever fucked up my country years ago.

America has been at war for 9 years today with an enemy who refuses to give up, just as we do. I don't authentically hate these people, I know better. I don't even hate the guys who crashed into the towers, I hate their ideology, I hate why they feel justified to crash a plane into a building, and I hate how they've twisted the words of a holy document to meet their needs.

I wonder what this country will be like another 9 or 10 years from now...

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