- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2001

The terrorist attacks that rocked America yesterday brought out, as one might expect, the worst in some and the best in most. Most men and women immediately came to the aid of their stricken country and fellow Americans.
Indeed, within a couple hours of the cowardly strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the heart and soul of America's armed forces, both Washington's Mayor Anthony Williams and Virginia's Gov. James S. Gilmore had declared states of emergency necessary formalities that helped both officials mobilize law-enforcement, military patrols and other resources.
Still, true character is not so much detected in how local officials responded to yesterday's extraordinary circumstances. The true measure of America's great spirit was reflected elsewhere, in the reaction of ordinary citizens. "There was lots of aggressive driving and jaywalking," one morning commuter told this page. "[But] people weren't scared or panicked. I thought I would see more people panicked or crying. For the most part, I saw people just trying to make their way."
For sure, there were frantic moms and dads trying to reach each other, their children's schools and babysitters, and there were impatient commuters on cellphone meltdown after lines jammed with the horrifying news. Aggressive motorists and frightened pedestrians clogged the streets. Even journalists (whose job it was to bring you the news of yesterday's events as they unfolded) were scribbling notes and dialing their editors with shaking hands, hearts pounding as federal building after federal building was evacuated and federal police officers, with powerful weapons drawn, ushered them out of doors.
In the meantime, though, the niceties of humanity and the resolve of a spirit found only in America must prevail on behalf of the untold number of victims who lost their lives and their loved ones who remain in their wake. After all, the American Red Cross needs to rebuild its blood supplies, and medical facilities. Social service agencies and houses of worship are in need, too. Local search-and-rescue teams, the very experts the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) depends on during disasters, must be equipped (and blessed) as they aid New York's emergency personnel. Local law-enforcement officers deserve our thanks as well, not only for helping us feel a little safer but for essentially becoming a traffic-safety corps for several extremely chaotic hours yesterday.
In other words, ordinary folks in the Washington region need to continue doing what must be done in trying times of need relay a sense of community and keep the faith. God bless America.

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