- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2001

The bright orange jack-o'-lanterns sitting on doorsteps and comic cardboard ghosts hanging from trees announce that University Park, Md. which has lost a family in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, is ready to move on and celebrate Halloween.
Tomorrow, children dressed as butterflies, ballerinas, witches and ghouls will knock on doors and shout "trick or treat." Parents say they will take precautions to make sure their children are safe but absolutely will not keep them indoors.
"This is a neighborhood with a lot of community spirit," says Lesley Krauland, who plans to have a normal Halloween because she knows her children are safe. "Everybody will be on the streets, and I know everyone really well here."
Some residents, like Mary Braugher, say they will dress their children thoughtfully. "As long as no one wears costumes that are directly about the attacks, it's OK," she said, adding that she will check the treats her daughters bring home.
Health officials have offered some precautions parents should take while sending children trick-or-treating, including asking children to go only to well-lighted houses and remain on porches rather than entering homes. Children also should bring treats home for their parents to inspect, and groups of children should be accompanied by adults.
Last week, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said he feared Halloween would result in a rash of false alarms that would overwhelm the public health system. Scares have included an e-mail message advising people to stay away from malls on Halloween.
But parents say children need to follow traditions to return to normal.
"Why should the kids suffer?" says Jacqui Brooks, who was visiting Mrs. Krauland from Silver Spring. "We have to be hopeful for today and tomorrow and not dwell on the losses."
In University Park, the need for normalcy is felt more than most other areas. Charles S. Falkenberg; his wife, Leslie A. Whittington; and their children Dana, 3, and Zoe, 8, were among those killed aboard American Airlines Flight 77, which was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the Pentagon.
The pain lingers. This Halloween has not bloomed as colorfully as it has in past years, residents say.
"It does look a little scaled back," Mrs. Baugher said as she picked up her daughter from University Park Elementary School, where Zoe Falkenberg had been a student until last year.
Mrs. Baugher says more pumpkins may make an appearance over the next day or two.
Group activities will go on as usual. Local schools say they will celebrate Halloween, and a billboard outside a nearby community center announces a party for tomorrow evening.
Mrs. Braugher's daughter, Ellen, grinned at the idea of trick-or-treating. "I'm wearing a ballerina dress with a witch's hat," says the 6-year-old, adding that she helped her mother decorate their porch.
For Stella Hurtt, this is an important year: The 21/2-year-old will go trick-or-treating for the first time tomorrow. Her mother, Jo Hannah Hurtt, has her butterfly outfit ready wings, antenna and all.
"All her friends will be going. It is important that the children move on," Mrs. Hurtt said.
Not all parents echo that sentiment, however. One resident, who identified herself as only Ester, says she will not send her children out because she is afraid. "I am scared about everything after the attacks," she says. "I just don't know what is going to happen."

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