How safe do I feel? Not at all. Because of the company my DH works at and where we live, we are a potential target. In the past we have had two trial evacuations, mandated by the government because of the potential for terrorist activities. We knew at the time that they were "fire drills" so to speak, and treated them lightly. No one is giggling any more.The Unspeakable Act happened at the begining of my third week of teaching. I felt woefully unprepared, though I doubt anyone is ever prepared for this kind of event. I was amazed at how widespread direct involvement was with our little island and potential victims of this Act. One of my kids has a brother who works at the Pentagon, two others had a dad working in the towers. A friend of mine left the island in July to take the job of a lifetime in NYC, (almost was,) and we later learned that she had just left the towers when the first plane hit and had to run through the debris. My sister was at the towers on Sunday playing tourist with some visiting friends, and my brother is booked on American flight 11 from Boston to LA in two more weeks. Something tells me that flight number will be changed. My parents live in Sarasota, and I am thankful that they did not bomb where the President was visiting that day.The question my students most ask me is "Are you afraid Mrs. IP?" I lie through my teeth and tell them no. We are insignificant and frankly most of the mainland has no clue that we are part of the US. Were our island to sink, most would say, "OH, that poor little Caribbean Nation!", having no clue as to the connection to the US. Even the Federal Govt in the guise of the post office tries to charge extra postage to send mail here. Not that that has been much of an issue lately with the planes not bringing any mail. But though I was so very fortunate not to lose anyone I love, the closeness of it scares the hell out of me, and I realize that anything is possible. I try not to look over my shoulder, but it takes a very real effort. I am constantly bordering tears.We have a large Arab population here, and I feel for those kids. I do not tolerate any denigrating remarks in my class, even if in jest. For the most part, my kids are great. But these poor kids have to be torn in two. They are Americans, yet the "Arab owned" businesses are being boycotted. They are gettting the shaft twice. I tried to explain to the kids how the Japanese Americans were wrongfully treated during WWII, and that we need to learn from our history and not repeat our idiocies. Fortunately, the 7th and 8th graders are young, and they heal quickly. It happened a lifetime away for most of them.I try really hard not to snap at my 6 year old when he starts to mimick that which he sees on the news. He doesn't understand the carnage that took place, and frankly I don't want him to. Not until he is much older. For him, the noises are just too cool to ignore. We try to minimize their exposure to the news, but I am unable to turn CNN off. We had to go home Tuesday night through an armed barricade, so I had to explain what happened to them in general terms. I know they have no real comprehension, since I can't comprehend it myself. Ironically, given the name of this board, we are safest while at work and school, which is the same location for me and my boys. My husband works at the potential ground zero, where we also live.No, I find none of your statistics comforting. It is a new era, and I am afraid. I am very afraid. But because I am a mother, because I am a teacher, it stays bottled up inside of me, only to escape in rare moments of quiet isolation.InParadise,Who really wants to be 6 again.
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