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Archive for Friday, September 14, 2001

City puts patriotism on display

September 14, 2001

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From Massachusetts Street to cyberspace, Lawrence residents Thursday were exhibiting their patriotism and tolerance after Tuesday's terrorist attacks on America.

Angie Conrad put a sign in the window of her downtown shop, My Father's Daughter. A Kansas University student flew the stars and stripes at her sorority. Tony Johnson, a KU employee, created a patriotic Internet banner and asked people to post it on their Web sites.

A sign in Angela Conrad's store, "My Father's Daughter," 844 Mass.,
was inspired by her father, a 25-year Army veteran and by Conrad's
desire to help in any way possible after Tuesday's terrorist
attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Conrad, with her father,
Matt Massoth, Leavenworth, at the store Thursday, said that on the
day she put the sign up a woman from New York came in to hug her
and tell her how much it meant.

A sign in Angela Conrad's store, "My Father's Daughter," 844 Mass., was inspired by her father, a 25-year Army veteran and by Conrad's desire to help in any way possible after Tuesday's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Conrad, with her father, Matt Massoth, Leavenworth, at the store Thursday, said that on the day she put the sign up a woman from New York came in to hug her and tell her how much it meant.

"I just wanted to say something," Johnson said of his banner, which read: "United we stand, divided we fall: We are not divided."

"I think everybody feels the same way," Johnson said.

While Muslims and their mosques faced attacks and threats elsewhere in the United States, some Lawrence residents expressed compassion for their Islamic neighbors. One man on Thursday took flowers to the Islamic Center of Lawrence, and campus religious organizations offered a haven to any international student who felt unsafe.

"We don't expect this, but if there's a need for people to get away from physical or verbal abuse, or if they just don't feel safe, they can come here," said Thad Holcombe, director of Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread.

Attacks denounced

Area stores are running out of flags as many people are flying them
in response to Tuesday's terrorist attacks. Thursday at Kansas
University's Kappa Delta house, sorority sisters, from left, Liz
Telschow, Lindsey Goward and Darcie Nachbar, mount a bracket for a
new flag outside the house entrance. Nachbar was at the store
Thursday when she saw an employee unwrapping a flag and said, "I'll
take that."

Area stores are running out of flags as many people are flying them in response to Tuesday's terrorist attacks. Thursday at Kansas University's Kappa Delta house, sorority sisters, from left, Liz Telschow, Lindsey Goward and Darcie Nachbar, mount a bracket for a new flag outside the house entrance. Nachbar was at the store Thursday when she saw an employee unwrapping a flag and said, "I'll take that."

Lawrence Muslims expressed their disgust with the attacks.

"We condemn in the strongest terms possible what are apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts," said Baha Safadi, a spokesman for the Lawrence Islamic Center

"Muslim medical professionals should go to the scenes of the attacks to offer aid and comfort to the victims. Muslim relief agencies should contact their counterparts to offer support in the recovery efforts."

Jack Martin, spokesman for U.S. Congressman Dennis Moore, D-Kan., said constituents in his Northeast Kansas 3rd Congressional District had called, faxed or e-mailed his office 114 times about the attack.

"The vast majority of those are in support of some form of retaliation," Martin said. "And many of them have been to thank the congressman for supporting the president."

Some, Martin said, made inflammatory statements about Muslims.

"Emotions are very high with some people," Martin said. "It's very unfortunate, some of what's been expressed."

Becky Bowers placed a flag above the gift area of her store at
Penny Annie's Sweet Shoppe, 845 Mass. "I just thought it would be a
good idea if everyone would put one out to show their support," she
said Thursday, minding the store and listening to the news on
radio.

Becky Bowers placed a flag above the gift area of her store at Penny Annie's Sweet Shoppe, 845 Mass. "I just thought it would be a good idea if everyone would put one out to show their support," she said Thursday, minding the store and listening to the news on radio.

That concerned Roger Shimomura, a KU art professor who was sent to a U.S. prison camp for two years during World War II at the age of 2 because of his family's Japanese heritage.

"It's a perfect parallel," Shimomura said. "The only difference now is there's been some experience making that mistake and there's people coming out against that."

But not enough to make him feel comfortable.

"It's absolutely, totally, unbelievably idiotic," Shimomura said. "It's quite painful people feel that way."

Not everybody does. Lawrence resident Steve Guinn delivered the flowers to the Islamic Center.

"I have a lot of close friends who are Muslim," he said. "The cycle of hatred cannot continue to occur."

Counseling available

Not long after Tuesday's attack, Tina Christian, above, membership
representative at Midwest Regional Credit Union, 1015 W. Sixth St.,
and employee Stacey Young added a new statement to the credit
union's sign. Tuesday, Christian completed the task and said "Pray,
everybody should pray for them."

Not long after Tuesday's attack, Tina Christian, above, membership representative at Midwest Regional Credit Union, 1015 W. Sixth St., and employee Stacey Young added a new statement to the credit union's sign. Tuesday, Christian completed the task and said "Pray, everybody should pray for them."

Some residents and KU students sought solace through counseling.

"We're starting to get a little more traffic in our office," said Frank DeSalvo, director of KU's Counseling and Psychological Services, "especially with persons from the Tri-State area" of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center opened its doors late this week to provide help to those who want it. But Tom Bates, a psychologist at the center, said there has actually been a drop-off in the number of people seeking help this week.

"The community is just in shock," Bates said. "This has never happened before."

Bates said traumatic national incidents can affect most adversely those already struggling with mental illness.








J-W Staff ReportsLike many other Lawrence residents, Darcie Nachbar put up an American flag up at her home Thursday the Kappa Delta sorority house at Kansas University."It's something I can do to show my support for the country and the victims," the KU sophomore said.Many are joining her. Jason Wilson, an assistant manager at Lawrence's Wal-Mart, said the store ran out of American flags Wednesday and was awaiting a replacement order."I can't remember anything of this magnitude we sold a few more after the Oklahoma City bombing," he said. "People are proud to be an American still. It's good to see."E-mails circulated across the state and nation Thursday, proclaiming today "Flags Across America Day."City Manager Mike Wildgen said Thursday afternoon he was unaware of the plans, but he said he would order city flags flown today downtown.

"Among some of our more severely disturbed we've seen some reaction, but I'm pleased to say not a lot," he said.

And people have been busy organizing or communicating plans for sweeping expressions of sympathy and grief. E-mails were sent across the nation, urging people to step outside and light a candle at 7 p.m. today after flying their flags all day. Today has been declared a national day of prayer and remembrance.

And Bates said Bert Nash officials are discussing a community forum to help the healing and discuss ways to "protect our way of life together."

That will be difficult, he said.

"We're never really going to get back to normal," Bates said. "Things are going to be different now."

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