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September 12, 2001: And so it goes

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I have a little window on my desktop, pointed to Amazon's Red Cross Donation site. Every once in a while I refresh the screen, because the way that total number keeps creeping upwards gives me hope in the overwhelming goodness of the human spirit. When I checked first thing this morning the total was over $500,000. It surpassed one million early this afternoon. Right before I posted this, it stood at 1.7 million. Money seems such a small thing to give, but at least it's something, and there's an awfully large number of us out there who - because of geography and other reasons - are unable to offer anything more.

They say that on that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, some of the passengers managed to overpower the hijackers, but were unable to regain control of the plane. Those on the other three planes were too paralyzed by fear. We may never know all that happened on board those planes, but at least in one, they found the courage to refuse to sit quietly and let it happen to them. How many of us, given the same situation, would find the courage in ourselves?

They're letting flights resume - the ones that were scheduled for Wednesday. How many people will be willing to get on a plane after what happened? Even with increased security, how can you not worry about what might happen? They took over the plane with box cutters and plastic knives, for crying out loud. Box cutters without blades probably look completely harmless in an x-ray, and all they require are ordinary razor blades, found in any man's shaving kit. Will they now no longer allow people to bring shaving implements on board?

Just before I was ready to post this, an email arrived in my inbox. Normally I'd just delete this sort of spam, but after yesterday's graphic description of alternative uses for passenger planes, this one struck a little too close to home.

"We are prepared to send you a FREE Air Check worth up to $100.00 in savings on your next flight. You'll be able to fly to many exciting places on most major airlines and save up to $100 per airline ticket. Just click here or on the link above to receive your FREE $100.00 Air Check now! I must hear from you immediately!"

I suppose I should take comfort in this. After all, it proves that even in the face of national disaster, life goes on.

I just wish it were something a bit more comforting than spam.

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