United We Stand
The terrorists that attacked the United States of America want us to feel vulnerable and afraid. They would like to crush our free and open society by paralyzing us with fear. They may have been hoping that their actions would put our country in such turmoil that it would trigger a collapse of the economy. If so, that part of their plan has backfired. Instead of panicking and withdrawing money from banks, everyone ran out to the store to buy American flags!
While our country has been politically divided, particularly since the last election, Americans always come together in times of crisis. Our actions in upcoming weeks will not only allow us to survive this, but will also send a clear message of America's strength and resilience to the rest of the world. This great nation should emerge even stronger because of our efforts.
Consider how you can help. Adults and children alike can regain their sense of stability and security when they feel they can be of some assistance. Now that the initial shock is over, we can begin to find out more about what is needed. It may be food or clothing donations, blood, or even financial support. Here are some things your family can do:
1. Show the world that you are proud to be an American by displaying the stars and stripes. Fly a flag outside your house, put a flag sticker on your car, place a desktop flag in your office, wear red, white & blue. Children can paint flags on paper and tape them to their door, wall, or window.
2. Help unify the country by engaging your neighbors and community to stand together against terrorism, hate crimes, and other acts of evil.
3. Don't be prejudiced-acts of hate or violence against people based on their race, religion or ethnic background is wrong. Most U.S. citizens and visitors of the Muslim faith are good folk. The terrorists who killed our people did it - in part - to drive a wedge between those that follow the Islamic faith, and others. So don't give in to hate, because that is exactly what they want.
4. Get back into a normal pattern of work and living, and do what you can to continue your everyday routines. Children of all ages thrive on family routines-dinner, bath, reading time- and stability in their daily lives can be tremendously reassuring to children.
5. Keep your money and investments where they are, and follow through on projects you had in mind, to show your faith in the economy. Even small purchases will collectively work together to prevent the fear-induced self-fulfilling prophecy of a volatile economy.
6. If you become aware of any price-gouging (at gas stations or grocery stores), bring it to the public's attention via your local newspaper, radio or television station. You can also report gas-gouging to the local chapter of the American Automobile Association (AAA), or contact your state's Attorney General or the U.S. Energy Department Hotline at 1-800-244-3301.
7. Consider buying a new fuel-efficient car, to reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil. Take public transportation, carpool, consolidate trips into town, and encourage the development of alternative fuels.
8. Conserve energy. Turn off unused lights and appliances at home. This will help to stabilize prices and supplies.
9. Don't be afraid to travel. Make business and transportation arrangements as you had planned. Try not to complain about the new security guidelines in airports and other public places and the long waits associated with them. They are there for your protection. The airlines are probably safer now than they've ever been before.
10. Help support continuing relief efforts. Millions have already contributed time, prayers, blood and money. At this stage, what America's overwhelmed rescue and philanthropic organizations need most is cash donations.
11. Give blood. While initial supplies are plentiful, the need will rise again in coming weeks. Contact one of these agencies to set up a future appointment to give blood: Central Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross, 602-336-6660 or United Blood Services (several valley locations) 602-431-9500.
12. Volunteer at your church, school, or within your community. Research shows that volunteering improves the emotional and physical well being of the volunteers who help others. Volunteering may be one of the most significant ways we can discharge our national anger into positive and productive results.
13. Let your children help, too. Asking your children to gather some clothes, toys, or food will give them a sense of helping others that will go a long way toward making them feel better.
14. Children can keep a journal of their thoughts and emotions, write personal messages or draw pictures showing their support for the firemen, policemen, and rescue workers. They may also want to let President Bush or their Congressman know how they feel about the tragedy and what they think the government should do.
15. Finally, we all need to support President Bush and pray that he makes the right decisions.
"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America," said President Bush in his remarks to the nation. "These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." This American resolve, the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor, has been a major factor in the success of our republic. It's this compassion for others that is the spirit of America. It's a spirit that cannot be destroyed in a fireball of hatred. By giving our time and sharing our talents to help others, we can work to restore a sense of hope in our hearts, homes, neighborhoods, and ultimately the nation.
God Bless the USA (By Lee Greenwood)
If tomorrow all the things were gone
(Listen to a MIDI version of this song at www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/blessusa.htm)
Make a Ribbon of Unity
This ribbon can be fabricated from conventional paper or cloth ribbon and pinned to the lapel, tie, purse, etc. It is inspired by similar ribbons of solidarity that have bonded breast cancer survivors, AIDS survivors, and those who have been victims of terrorist attacks in the past.
1. Cut a strip of decorative paper or cloth ribbon in red-white-and-blue or royal blue, so that the finish size is 1/2 inch wide by about 8 inches long.
2. Bend into a shape resembling half of a figure-8 with tails hanging downward.
3. Seal where the sides of the ribbon meet in a loop, using a drop of glue or safety sealant.
4. Glue a paper or foil gold star in the center or sew on a star, available at crafts stores. (Or any suitable pin or tie tack can be used to hold the ribbon in place.)
5. Affix to lapel, blouse, hat or other personal garment with a safety pin.
Note: The ribbon is also available as a graphical download from www.BHG.com and can be attached to an e-mail. The ribbon was designed by Meredith Corporation, publishers of Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal.
The United Way of America has established the "September 11th Fund" to help victims of the terrorist attacks. Anyone wishing to contribute may send their financial donations in care of United Way September 11th Fund, 2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016, (212) 251-4035. Contributions for the Washington, D.C. area may be sent to the United Way of the National Capital Area, 95 M Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024, (202) 488-2060. For more information on the "September 11th Fund," visit the United Way of New York City's Web site at www.uwnyc.org
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