ON THE COVER North Coast Journal Weekly
PUBLISHER  |  IN THE GARDEN  |  CALENDAR


YOU FLIP ON THE TELEVISION. SMOKE IS STREAMING OUT OF THE NORTH TOWER. Its twin stands gleaming and untouched in the morning sunlight (is the sky really that blue over New York?). A plane approaches. A jet. It banks smoothly. Incredibly, it flies right into the giant pillar of glass and steel that is the south tower. For a nanosecond it disappears, is swallowed whole, and then a giant orange fireball belches out of the skyscraper like an angry god. You sit down. Your mind tells you that bodies are burning and exploding, but you don't get it. It's too bizarre. It's happening too fast. It's too much like a movie. You need to see it again. Maybe then you'll be able to feel.

But you don't feel. You just get more numb. You think of the Kennedy assassination, the Zapruder film, the president's head snapping backward, the first lady climbing onto the back of the Lincoln to retrieve a piece of her husband's skull. This is worse than that. This is thousands of people dying horribly, people jumping out of windows a thousand feet up, sheer chaos, terror. You never understood what terror was before.

Now you're starting to feel. A slight sickness in the stomach. A coldness spreading up the spine. You feel jumpy. You can't sit still. A shudder passes through your body. You'd like to think you're shaking with rage. But you know it's fear.

And when the towers collapse, first one and a little later the other, you're somehow not so surprised. It's not that you expected it. It's just that you've lost the mental energy necessary to feel amazement. It's not like a movie anymore. It's like a dream, disastrous to the point of absurdity. The buildings have vaporized right in front of you. They've become enormous billowing clouds rushing through the canyons of Manhattan, bearing down on screaming people running so fast they're literally coming out of their shoes. You almost want to laugh. Is this real?

One Year Later [photo of burning towers]

Pearl Harbor was never forgotten. Neither was Dallas. Sept. 11 will never be forgotten either -- although what has disappeared, along with the 3,000-odd victims, is the shock, the blunt impact of the event, the numbness, the disbelief, the overwhelming need on that day to make contact with another human being, any human being, and say "Can you believe....?" It was as if by talking to another person people could verify the reality of what had taken place, assure themselves that while the attacks were insanely evil, the world they hadn't known they depended on so much was still there, familiar and unchanged, secure.

One year later, the attacks have faded, but what they spawned is still very much with us -- a global war on terrorism; increased security measures, both at airports and elsewhere; concerns about government intrusion into civil liberties. A war against Iraq, a possibility even without Sept. 11, appears to have greater urgency. Where all this is headed no one knows, but one thing is clear -- like it or not, the old familiar world has changed. For most Americans, at least those not directly affected by the attacks, life may be much the same. But the planet we all live on has become a more dangerous and unpredictable place.
Presented in this issue are a variety of stories having to do with 9-11 and its aftermath from the perspective of folks in the Humboldt region. Some remain deeply affected by the events of 12 months ago, others say they've moved on. But no one's forgotten. They never will.


-- Keith Easthouse

UNFINISHED DREAMS
Remembering Richard J. Guadagno
WHY DO THEY HATE US?
A persistent question
 TOLERANCE OR PATRIOTISM?
Addressing Sept. 11 in the schools
 WING TAKES FLIGHT
Local business prospers since 9-11 
 A LASTING IMPACT ON TRAVEL
North Coast travel businesses 
 CIVIL LIBERTIES AT RISK?
Abdul Aziz fears loss of freedoms
 HUMBOLDT NOT A LIKELY TARGET
Isolated location and lack of big industry
THE MANY 'TRUTHS' BEHIND 9-11
Conspiracy theories 
 ONCE LABELED A TERRORIST, CHERNEY REFLECTS
Earth First! activist Darryl Cherney
WRITERS AND ARTISTS RESPOND
Books, music 
 IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Diverse views of North Coast residents on the attacks
 THE GRIEF HAS PASSED; SPIRITUAL ISSUES REMAIN
Religious leaders discuss Sept. 11


PUBLISHER  |  IN THE GARDEN  |  CALENDAR


Comments? E-mail the Journal: ncjour@northcoast.com

North Coast Journal banner

© Copyright 2002, North Coast Journal, Inc.