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Traveling Around the Globe

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Traveling Around the Globe

by Lorry Patton

Just as I was about to board AA's flight from Dallas to Vancouver on September 11, 2001, a bright and sunny Tuesday morning, disaster struck and like the proverbial pebble tossed on the ocean, the ongoing ripple affects us all.

For the next four days, while waiting for the air embargo to be lifted, I reflected on how traveling around the globe will change for me. I say for me, because I don't have the right to encourage or discourage people to stay home.

We die by the thousands every day by wars, accidents, because of illness, abuse, neglect, by the hands of others. I read the statistics calmly, without too many tugs at my heart unless it relates to children. Yet, the images across my television screen this past week brought tears to my eyes, the words spoken squeezed at my heart and created a lump in my throat. The acts of courage by so many made me proud to be a human being. The acts of terrorism made me feel so ashamed.

Why am I affected so? Maybe it is because somehow I feel responsible. Or maybe it is because I am completely innocent. I don't know. I just know that when I was given a six-month death sentence (10 years ago) because of a life-threatening illness, I understood instantly how fragile our lives. I understood and understand that when I say "see you later" to anyone, anytime, anywhere, the words don't mean a thing.

I don't know enough to comment on the type of recourse the government should follow, except to say that rarely do the means justify the end. After all, the perpetrators felt this way when they used the innocent as a weapon. The families who lost loved ones, their lives will never go "back to normal"whatever action is taken; their lives will never just "go on".

Me? I will not stay home. Just like I will not stay out of schools, government buildings, cruise ships, busses, ferries or trains. Nor will I stay out of McDonald's because a crazed individual might start shooting blindly at whatever and whoever gets in the way. I will continue to marvel, absorb and drink in the different landscapes on this planet; I will continue to embrace, explore, examine and educate myself to the many customs and cultures of my vast human family. There is nothing else that I would rather do.