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Where were you on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001?

I was at work at SHAPE Healthcare Facility in Belgium. As I walked down the halls of the clinic I heard the various televisions echoing with the news. I had thought that there had been an airplane crash of some sort, but never imagined what was actually happening. My colleagues called me into our waiting room and I sat down just as the second plane hit. The staff of the British clinic immediately came over to ours (they were next door) and offered to take care of all of our patients/clients for the rest of the day. Due to the 7 hour time difference, we were already well into the afternoon when the tragedies occurred. The five people we knew who were in harm's way that day, all survived, thank God!

September 11, 2013 at 11:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Attack in Belgian city leaves 4 dead, 123 wounded

Well, I read another account, in English and they said "gun parts." There is also an update which claims that the body of a woman was found at his home. People here in Belgium don't expect things like this to happen. The entire country is in shock.

December 14, 2011 at 3:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Attack in Belgian city leaves 4 dead, 123 wounded

Sorry, 10 guns and 9500 pieces of armaments, of all types. My mistake.

December 13, 2011 at 9:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Attack in Belgian city leaves 4 dead, 123 wounded

I was just reading in dhnet.be (dernier heure--last minute) that the perpetrator's name was Nordine Amrani, and in 2008 he was arrested and sentenced to 58 months in prison after an anonymous tip. According to the article, he (and others) had 2800 marijuana plants and 9500 armaments of all types.

December 13, 2011 at 9:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Attack in Belgian city leaves 4 dead, 123 wounded

Apparently there are ways. They are always digging up buried caches of armaments from WWII around here. I don't know how well they work after all those years, but the Belgian government does take precautions about neutralizing them. Here you have to have a license and belong to a sports or hunting club in order to own a gun. But then, chaos always trumps rules and regulations. They reported that the little 18 month old baby had died, about an hour ago on the local news (RTBF). What a pity.

December 13, 2011 at 2:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What cutbacks have you made that saved you the most money?

Used the library more, especially the online ordering system so I could find what I wanted, when I wanted, watched/listened to programs online (our television normally needs a new bulb replacement every two years--plasma--, and now it's been at least 7 years), go to the grocery store once every two weeks, grew our own tomatoes, peppers, chili peppers, lettuce, peas and beans this summer in do-it-yourself hanging planters made out of old 2-liter soda bottles, then moved them indoors on a clothes rack for the fall/winter (peas and beans grew in planters). We don't have air conditioning (most people in Europe don't), and mostly use the upstairs when I get home from work so I don't have to heat the downstairs very much. Walked more places (to get bread, go to my friends' houses, doctor's office (and for 5 euro more he comes to the house, anyway, which saves me waiting in his office with a bunch of other sick people!), take my own lunch most days. Drove to work early in the morning (5:30 am) so that I could beat the traffic and use less gas, save time, and use the time before work to work out at the free gym supplied at work. Take a shower there.

October 23, 2011 at 10:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

How did you hear about Sept. 11? What do you remember from that day?

I was working at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe). I had opened my office door and couldn't figure out why the office next door had their television on so loud. I was finishing up some work and kept hearing something about a plane crash. I went down the hall and my colleagues beckoned me into our waiting room, just in time to see the second plane crash. There are many different nations represented on the base and in our building. I'll never forget how the British workers immediately came to us and offered to see our clients that day. Members of the public laid flowers at the gates, people in our village came to say how sorry they were, and they estimated that 98% of all Belgians stopped at noon on the following Friday for a minute of silence. Even on the highway. We knew five people who were in the attacks and they all survived, thank goodness. Another friend knew five people and they all died. Where I worked, everyone knew someone who had been in danger.

September 8, 2011 at 2:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

By the way, did the indoor skydiving thing in Holland. Awesome experience! You get five jumps of one minute each, with an experienced skydiving instructor there to assist you and teach you tricks you can do. You basically just step through a doorway and then try to control how the wind bats you around. There is someone at the wind velocity control, so they can help you. And, they make a video of the entire session, so that you can appreciate how crazy you looked trying to do things!

September 5, 2011 at 2:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

When I was about 15 years old, my mother and little brother and I went to see some relatives in Provincetown, Massachusetts. We got into a small plane at the Boston airport. There was a woman sitting next to the pilot, and in back of everyone, there was a small boy with the luggage piled all around him. The pilot didn't get the front passenger's door closed all the way, and while we were in the air it flew open. She grabbed it, which resulted in her shoulder being dislocated. The next thing we knew, we were looking down at the ocean, sideways. The plane had rotated and we were just staring into the waves. The pilot, completely calm, got us back to the airport. The woman got out and went to the hospital. Everyone else stayed in the plane. It was at this point, just before the second take off, that we heard a small voice asking someone for help. It was the little boy in the back! The luggage had fallen all over him and if he hadn't been able to speak nobody would even have remembered he was there. I don't know where his parents were, but he didn't belong to anyone on that plane.....(Oh those days when FAA regulations didn't mean anything.....forgot to mention that my little brother and I were seat belted in together and that the plane was seriously overloaded!)

September 5, 2011 at 2:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

French family cares for the graves of Americans killed on D-Day

It's like a lot of things. One generation remembers, the other has never experienced this type of situation and doesn't understand nor respect it. A few years ago in Eaussinnes-Lalaing, Belgium I went to a ceremony in which nine US ex-service members were honored for their role in liberating the village. People had their own American flags and many were hanging from the windows of houses throughout the village. There was a ceremony and the men were given medals and the Freedom of the City, as well as the thanks of the populace. Later, there was an event in which the children of the town met the veterans and said, "Merci pour nous liberte" ("Thank you for our freedom"). This event didn't make CNN, nor anything other than the local news. But these villagers did not forget. (Just as they haven't forgotten that the Gestapo took almost 100 people hostage during the war and threatened to kill them if the members of the Resistance were not given up. A nineteen year old Chinese woman begged for their lives and saved them. But that's another story....) We should never forget the sacrifices our past and present service members make on a daily basis, on our behalf. Thanks guys!

May 30, 2011 at 10:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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