Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 11:03:46 -0400
Subject: I'm Fine

To my friends and family,

In case you haven't been watching the news, there has been a terrorist
attack, and both towers of the World Trade Center have collapsed. No

This is just a note to let you know, in case you were worried about me, that I'm safe and sound in my apartment. ("They" tell us not to use the phone.) Unless the smoke gets up here to 15th street, I plan to stay here.

Now I'll go back to watching the news.

I pray for all those injured and those who have lost loved ones. I hope you
are all safe and sound.



Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 12:30:09 -0400
Subject: Got Blood?


I just went out to give blood at the hospital near me -- volunteers are lined up around the block. I'm sure they will be needing blood in NYC and DC, etc., so you might consider going out to donate where you are, even if it is far away from here, as I suspect there will be shortages over the next few days and they may want to fly it in.

It's kind of nice to see how everyone out on the streets is so touched and calmly driven to action and kindness.



Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 15:20:22 -0400
Subject: Update

Kim and All,

People are out in the streets much more than normal, as you can imagine. Here at 15th street, there is no dust and debris, no panic, just many concerned people out talking and walking. Here the sky is clear, it is wonderful weather. Lucky for us here, the wind is blowing the smoke and dust across the East River towards Brooklyn. But you can see the dust and smoke cloud looming far above the city downtown; higher than the World Trade Center towers, USED to.

From my apartment, I can hear the sirens. Ambulances are still coming in from downtown, but at a slower rate now. Second Avenue, which runs downtown is clear. First Avenue, which runs uptown, is jammed with traffic, but police are working to clear an emergency lane.
I am right across from the Beth Israel Hospital ER. At the entry, wheelchairs and EMT's are lined up on the sidewalk, waiting for more ambulances. They have closed down the park near me, Stuyvesant Square Park, where they are parking ambulances.

By 11:45, the line for blood donors was a block long and they were telling people to come back tomorrow. Upstairs in the hospital, they were setting up chairs and beds in the hallways and training assistants on the spot to take blood. They didn't loosen on the screening procedures, by the way. All questions were asked, vitals signs were taken, ID was required.

It is difficult to talk about this. People don't know what to say. In the hospital, most were quietly trying to comprehend it all, or working to solve immediate concerns, such as who needs orange juice and where can I get more forms?
Out on the street, in front of my building, one of the local guys was swinging a piece of wood around, (not menacingly, just for fun). One of the lunkhead stoop-sitters said to him, "Hey, give me that. I'm going to whack an Arab, right over the head." I hope the pinheads of this country don't get very far in what will be an inevitable lashing out against anyone of Middle Eastern appearance.

More later,



 © Kurt Opprecht, 2001

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