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Some fears linger even as rhythms of life have returned.
Sept. 11, 2001

"This mass terrorism is the new evil in our world today. It is perpetrated by fanatics who are utterly indifferent to the sanctity of human life, and we the democracies of this world are going to have to come together and fight it together."
— British Prime Minister Tony Blair
WE’RE FLYING AGAIN. And going to ballgames, driving through tunnels. The panic of a year ago has subsided, replaced, it seems, by a surface calm and a duller dread. You told us about your fears: low-flying planes, tall buildings. And a year later, many of you say, it's clear that there's no going back.
Comments collected from Seattle Times readers and
compiled by Kennan Knudson and Patti Jones

WHENEVER I AM FEARFUL, or think about taking a risk, I think to myself "this may be the last time the opportunity arises ... better act fast ... tomorrow may never come."
Jill Cohn, Tacoma

MY FATHER was a foreign service officer and I grew up overseas and am well acquainted with the forces that dislike Americans. However, I feel less safe at the hands of our own leadership than if I were living elsewhere at this time. The present administration's cowboy attitude is more likely to lead us into disaster than prevent it.
Rev. Joan M. McCabe,
Vashon Island



I'VE TRIED to shelter my 3-year-old from 9/11 and the aftereffects. I have been saving magazines, newspapers and TV specials in a box for her to view when she's older. How much older, I don't know. There are days I don't feel old enough to view them.
   I think about 9/11 almost daily. I went to watch the Blue Angels: Two Blues took off. Then a big plane, I assume the support plane, took off. For a moment or two, it flew low over downtown Seattle, and I was instantly reminded of tall buildings and a big low plane and I was mad that the terrorists had left me with that worry, that panic. Of course, the plane flew on and there was no problem. But the thought was there.
   Will we ever forget? I hope not.
Brittany O'Neil,

LIKE THE ATTACK on Pearl Harbor or the assassination of JFK, 9/11 was a watershed moment when the innocence of a generation was destroyed. It proved security is a myth. So in a way we are all victims of 9/11.
Carol Lake, Kirkland

I AM AWARE of a fear that I never expected, a fear for my children, and for myself. I am more aware of my surroundings at all times, and I admit that this is no way to live, and I feel a certain anger toward my government for not being more on top of the situation and preventing such a catastrophe.
   But I also feel that I am more a part of my country now, and know that I too must participate to see that this horror isn't going to be the norm for America.
   I think that we are all awake in some way that we weren't before, and this has to be a good thing.
Hilary Newberry, Bainbridge Island

I KNOW I'LL NEVER forget which year the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field were destroyed by terrorists in U.S. passenger planes, because it was the year my son, Carl, was born.
   It wasn't until Sept. 11 that I realized he could be drafted. It just never crossed my mind. I worry about that now. After the events of that day, I fear lots of new things. Not only whether I can keep Carl safe from falls and scratches from his ever-growing fingernails, but whether I can keep him safe from evil and all that comes with it.
Laura B. Schildkraut,

I AM A DECORATED war (Vietnam) veteran (Marines) and have studied "terrorists' " operations for years ... more of a hobby. One item we must come to realize, we are not very well liked by numerous elements of the world, probably from jealously of our wealth and lifestyle. "Terrorists" will continue to pick the "time and place" to keep the element of surprise. Wasn't Sept. 11 a surprise? They will not attack a "strength," today's airports, stadiums, etc. Enough said.
   What can we do to lessen the fear of the next terrorist attack? Develop a sense of "unity and pride" for all Americans and for our great country. For we are under God and it is "united we stand" and "divided we fall," for it is strength in unity, weakness and vulnerability in division.
Vick Koll, Arlington


Schildkraut and Carl

I FEAR THE SIGHT of airplanes overhead. Before 9/11, I would see them occasionally lining up high above the city headed south to land at Sea-Tac.
   At night in my old house, their flight path was like a distant, slow-moving line of benign Christmas lights strung outside my window.
   Now, every airplane I happen to see, I track its slow movement through the hazy Seattle sky, watching for anything out of the ordinary: Is that a normal flight path? Why does that plane seem to be flying so low? The fear doesn't run my life, but it's enough to make me pause awkwardly on the sidewalk.
   My one hope is that my children never know this fear.
Joseph Tate, Seattle
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