- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Patriotism meshed with an undercurrent of anxiety yesterday as Americans reacted with determination to the second day of U.S.-led air strikes in the new war on global terrorism.
"I am a little nervous," said Northern Virginia artist Michael Craighead, painting at an easel on the National Mall. "I worry that this city is a target. But I decided I got to get out and get back to what I wanted to do most."
In Florida, Kathleen Giery, a public relations manager for an organ transplant team, called the military strikes on Afghanistan a "relief." She praised the Bush administration's measured reaction, confident that under the circumstances war is the right response.
"For the first time in my life, I realize that friends of mine, maybe relatives and neighbors, maybe even me, will die in this war to protect our freedom and all that this country stands for," she said.
"We are going to take this guy out … take out his operatives, take away his money, uncover his hiding places, demoralize his troops, prove his cult-like mentality to those who believe in him … and we'll win."
Similar homeland fervor abounded as word of the military engagement spread across the country. Many, frustrated by the weeks of inaction, were pleased to learn payback time had finally arrived.
"USA, USA," came chants from fans attending sporting events on Sunday, their cheers erupting as news of the first wave of attacks was announced over stadium loudspeakers.
"I just felt good about being American," said Philadelphia Eagles football player Hugh Douglas, upon hearing the news.
In Washington, many took advantage of the Columbus Day holiday, venturing downtown to national monuments, but still skittish about security and expecting some form of retaliation on U.S. soil.
"Unfortunately, it was what we had to do," said Joe Greenawalt, a Bethesda accountant, as he visited the National Gallery yesterday with friend Anoma Phipps.
"This wasn't anything we started," he said.
Vonetta Westfield of Temple Hills strolled around Judiciary Square yesterday with her 2-year-old daughter, Ameera. She has considered the possibility of another attack in Washington but said her family hasn't taken any precautions.
"Anything could happen, but there isn't anything I can do about it," she said.
Across the country, security tightened and law enforcement remained on highest alert, bracing for possible paybacks for the massive air raids in Afghanistan that were expected to continue for several days.
In Los Angeles, flags fluttered from homes across the city as police helicopters buzzed overhead. One resident described their presence as "unnerving."
Results from several national polls released yesterday showed a broad majority of Americans supporting U.S. military action inside Afghanistan.
Still, thousands rallied for peace in Philadelphia, Boston, St. Louis, Seattle and Los Angeles. "Retaliation will cause more hatred and damage," said Mazher Ahmed, a Muslim from India who addressed a crowd of about 1,000 peace demonstrators in downtown Chicago.
In other areas, the mood was quiet, with some people keeping radios on all day to keep up with the latest developments in a war being fought 7,000 miles from home.
"Everybody's cool here," said one Orlando, Fla., Internet manager who mused on the strangeness of events that have brought his state to the forefront of the national news in recent weeks.
"It's still sunny skies and umbrella drinks here in the land of anthrax, rabid sharks, deadly lightning, terrorist flight schools and, of course, Mouseland," he said.

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