- The Washington Times - Friday, July 5, 2002

From combined dispatches
Americans marked the first Independence Day since the September 11 terrorist attacks yesterday amid unprecedented security and thousands of police and security officials, heeding calls from President Bush and others to celebrate as usual.
Military jets patrolled the skies over Washington, D.C., as the National Mall was sealed off behind checkpoints. In New York, the Federal Aviation Administration announced flight restrictions over most of the city from 3 p.m. through midnight yesterday. Other major cities that the Pentagon would not name also were guarded by military air patrols.
Jitters were widespread after unspecific official warnings of more terrorist attacks, but for many Americans the greatest challenge turned out to be how to cope with a heat wave sweeping the East.
While U.S. officials said they had no specific, credible information suggesting attacks were planned for July Fourth, many Americans were on edge after the September 11 terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 people.
Terrorism fears were so widespread yesterday that a gunman's attack on Los Angeles International Airport and a small plane crash in nearby San Dimas, Calif., provoked anxious speculation about terrorism links, although there were none in either case as of last night.
The White House yesterday said it had heard of no unusual events to spoil the nation's celebrations, which included picnics, backyard barbecues, parades and fireworks.
In New York, planes and boats were not allowed near the Statue of Liberty, and cars were not allowed near the United Nations.
More than 2,000 National Guard troops fanned out across the state, patrolling all bridges and tunnels in New York City, and about 4,000 police officers many undercover were expected to swarm the 26th annual Macy's fireworks display over the East River. Low-level radiation was monitored and waterways were searched for suspicious craft.
But New Yorkers made it clear they intended to go ahead with their holiday plans, egged on by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's advice to "stick it to the terrorists."
"It's kind of hard not to be moved when you hear a patriotic song after going through what we've gone through," said Kelsey Hoffman, 32, who planned to watch fireworks with friends. "It's good to stop for a moment and remember what took place here. But I'm not going to stop living my life and avoid public places."
Some revelers made a point of saying they would not be intimidated.
On his office e-mail in Savannah, Ga., Mike Dillon left a defiant automatic reply, addressing a vulgarity to "the terrorists" and adding, "We've gone to Washington, D.C."
Mr. Dillon, wearing a "God Bless Our Troops" T-shirt, said his son works on Capitol Hill and that the family had gathered to observe the Fourth of July in the most appropriate setting.
In Boston, a crowd expected to reach a half-million gathered along the banks of the Charles River for the city's fireworks display. People filed quietly through checkpoints and donned security-issued wristbands before staking out territory on the lawn near the concert stage.
Medical crews were ready to treat heat ailments, and city officials warned those attending the concert to drink a lot of fluids and stay out of the sun.

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