On My Wife, Buying A Flag

My wife and 16 year old daughter went to the mall this evening. On the way home they stopped at WalMart to buy an American flag. It was my wife's idea. Even though I'm a military veteran, we've never owned one. They were sold out.

My wife is an apolitical person. She was never caught up in the patriotism of the Gulf War, so it surprised me a bit. An hour or so later she mentioned a co-worker of hers; the co-worker has a half-dozen flags flying at home. The co-workers' husband is extremely patriotic, a police detective, and - according to my wife - an embarassing bigot.

Then she pulled out a computer printout of an old Canadian radio editorial, America: The Good Neighbor, the co-worker had given to her. I was familiar with it. It was all about how we Americans are great neighbors and how we've done so much for everyone. I understood where the sudden burst of patriotism came from.

I told her to go into the computer room and read the article up on the screen. It was, They can't see why they are hated1, an editorial from the English newspaper The Guardian. Then I had her read signed, confused in Wisconsin, a node I had written earlier in the day -- before I'd seen The Guardian piece.

She was angry. Not at me, but at the American news media. "Why don't they tell us these things?" She asked me. I told her it's worse than that, that virtually every country in south and central america has had a dictator or repressive government in the last 50 years that we've either put in place or supported. It's not just the muslims of the Middle East who hate us.

She wasn't very happy. She wasn't comfortable reading that material. Who can blame her? We'd much rather not know. I don't know what she'll say to her co-worker tomorrow, but I don't think she'll stop to buy a flag.


So now in my community, and expectedly in many others, the prejudice against Muslims is growing. I heard that there have been bomb threats against a Muslim school where I live. And have heard accounts of prejudice in the form of dirty looks and snickers. These more common forms of prejudice will more than likely affect Muslim women more than men as they are a more visible member of the religion.

This disgusts me.

Did the Muslim community, especially those who came to North America to have a better life, plan this attack? NO. Some EXTREMIST group, which happens to be Muslim did. Yes, their motives may be what they thought/think is religious. Hitler thought what he was doing was religiously sound also. These people are not normal Muslims. They have twisted the words Koran to suit their purposes.

I hear that some Muslims, especially women, are fearful to leave their homes. This is terrible. Most of the Muslims in Canada and the U.S. are landed immigrants or citizens. Those that are citizens have the exact same rights as you and I, and it is ILLEGAL and IMMORAL to treat them this way. The landed immigrants may not have all the same rights, but human rights are universal, aren't they?

So lets think about this.... what if the terrorists were Christian? Would we (North Americans) be looking down our noses at Christians? NO. Why? Because Christianity is familiar to us. We understand Christianity, and it is the majority.

This event has become a tragedy in several respects. One of them is that it has magnified the ignorance and rasism in North America.

Do what you can to help your fellow Canadian or American Muslim, because they are as much a Canadian or American as you are. Do not condone this prejudice, and please educate yourself about the people who live around you. Ask a Muslim what he/she believes religiously, and chances are they will be glad to tell you.

This really concerns me because many, and in some areas, most of the murders are racially motivated. It would be a complete shame and disgrace to let these terrorists cause or augment racism in North America to the point of violence.

I ran across this on the web, and thought it belonged at E2. As an American patriot, a freethinker and liberaltarian, I have often loudly decried our worst abuses, the bad things we have done in the world, from training terrorists and installing despots to Bhopal. It is refreshing to me to see that the good things we have done are not totally ignored.

I have not been here a lot lately -- I quit coming around for a while when E2 was having technical problems. It is good to be back. and good to see some familiar noders.

A lot has happened since I was here last. I located my birth family in California, and learned a lot of facts about my birth and the circumstances surrounding it. I am, indeed, a bastard, a hippie love child. My mother suffered from manic depression all her life, and lost the battle some twenty years ago.m I do have a brother and a sister that I never knew about. Noone, not even Mom, knew the identity of my father, as far as I can tell.

But there is a man in California that I can call Dad. He was Mom's husband (estranged) at the time, the man she called for help when she learned she was pregnant. I already have one father that I am not biologically related to -- it is not much of a stretch to have two.

I'm not allowed to miss my father.

Because he and my mother are safe and sound in England, I'm not allowed to miss him.

Because he didn't live out the last minutes of his life strapped into an airplane, watching in horror the rapidly approaching New York skyline, I'm not allowed to miss him.

Because his firm didn't have a New York office, with offices in the World Trade Center, and he wasn't told to get back to work minutes before being killed instantly, I'm not allowed to miss him.

Because the only thing that's wrong is that he's stuck in London, and we have no idea when he might getting back, I'm not allowed to miss him.

But I do.
And then they played Our National Anthem.

I was able to cry for the first time. When it seemed that there was no one to turn to. When it seemed that I was the only one in the world. When it seemed that that world was coming to an end. There was hope.

I haven't yet been able to write to the fullest, now perhaps I can. It seems that I still cannot grasp it all, cannot grasp it's reality. Thousands of people, it feels now as it felt on that day, it felt that one in ten people died that day. The loss, irreconcilable. Not a statistic as the addage goes, but each a loss that I feel in the places so close I cannot reach them. Beyond me. I cannot give an explanation, I believe that all things happen for good, this too, it must be, it has to be!, I see the good in people, the unity of the world, but the loss is beyond that. Am I inbalanced in my views? This truly has happened for good but why did it have to happen? I am a Christian, I have faith in the One True God, but even I cannot understand it. I know that He is in control but I would not know how to tell that to someone who is mourning. I live, I hope and I pray. This shadow someday will reveal a better sky beyond.

I'm tired of crying. I'm getting out of town this weekend, far away from CNN and the newspaper. Hate me for being selfish, but I cannot cry another night in front of the television. I cannot hear about another person's last cell phone call to a loved one moments before his or her plane struck its target. I cannot. I cannot hear another newscaster ask a frazzled rescue worker what it feels like to pull pieces of his brothers and sisters in service out of the dusty wreckage. I cannot watch another person thump their chest screaming for retribution as if this attack happened for no reason at all (see kto9's daylog above or read anything about Middle East history written from a non-American perspective.) I cannot risk being in front of the television when (God forbid, God forbid, please God forbid) the first praying Muslims are killed by a drive-by redneck with a Molotov cocktail. I fear I may go mad.

When I close my eyes I try to see blackness. I try to ignore their soreness. I try to squint away the distended capillaries. I try to resist the urge to crawl into bed and stay there until it is all over as if that were possible, as if there were enough days in the calendar. But I cannot do these things. I cannot so long as I am a person with warm blood flowing in my veins. The best I can do to salvage myself is go off, into the woods, and thank God that I can walk away for a while, that I am alive and my loved ones are safe, that I am free and able to seek the refuge of green trees and clean air, that I do not have to look out my window every day and see that dusty open sore in Manhattan or Washington or Pennsylvania. So that is my plan for the weekend. I'm sorry, but that is the way it has to be. I need to go into the wilderness and learn what it is mine to do, how I can be a light for those who are in the dark, how I can help. The television will be there on Monday for me to cry in front of.

Osama bin Laden eats pork and drinks beer.

Oh! what I wouldn't give for a picture of bin Laden chugging a 40 and eating a large rack of pork ribs. I can see the photo now with bin Laden's beard gnarled with BBQ sauce. In the background, the fridge full of 40's from Snoop Dogg's Gin and Juice video is open. bin Laden's top general's are in the around macking on Jewish/Christian/Hindu women. This one photo would go so far to stop the insanity that I fear will soon envelop the world. Discrediting bin Laden to his followers would go so far to stopping all this. If he is just found and killed, he becomes simply another holy warrior and martyr of the highest order to his followers.
Whew! that felt good. Originally I nodeshelled that header, but bones rightly nuked it.
Still in Brazil -- Tuesday at least. Non noding friends who have been coming to e2 to keep track of me sorry for not posting daylogs (this) for the last couple of days.
My screed of the other day has sat heavily on my shoulders. The hatred and grief that I expressed scare the hell out of me. I'm still struggling with what I believe and feel. Everyone (sane) wants peace, but I also realize how important justice is again. Call it vegenance as I did the other day, but you don't roll over when attacked. I love the United States of America -- not it's government, not its misdeeds, but its core goodness.

If I don't find an English copy of Hesse's Siddhartha I am going to go insane (doh a google search just gave me the text whew)! I'm off to read. I'll be back later.

I'm pissed, but alsohappy. I tried to buy an american flag two days ago. it was nearly impossible. the best I could find were those tiny novely flags they hand out at parades to 4 year olds to wave at the parade. I went to two k-marts, a walmart, an ames, 3 gas stations, 2 general convenience stores, a cvs, a walgreens, a 'bargin store', two Super Stop & Shops (they have seasonal sections) and even the Boy Scouts of America (they were giving out free flags).

Everyplace was out except k-mart. All i could find there were some novelty flags. I got them anyway.

Even though I went through a quarter of a tank of gas, and came home with just $4 worth of novelty flags, i figure it was worth it. Im happy because at if these places were out, at least people are out there snapping them up. good old america.

I have a large flag collection at 'home' (pre-college home...) in Connecticut. Somewhere around 60 flags. Some novelty flags, some plastic. A lot of cloth ones. Two ones i really like (embroidered stars and everything), and one huge one thats 25 feet long.

I was in Connecticut on Saturday for a 'Jack & Jill Shower' for my cousin's wedding. I was going through old stuff, seeing what I could bring home (post-college home) toNew York. I came across the boxes of flags.. I went through it briefly looking for a 48-star flag (to hang over my collection of World War II books), but couldnt find one. I decided to leave the others there, since i figured "I've got no real need for a flag in NY"

Obviously, I've been proven wrong...

I really wish i had brought just one big one back up with me. I've got a nice picture window that i'd like to hang it in.

oh well.

Campus is deserted. I wonder why the hell I'm even here today other than the help calls that keep flowing into my inbox. Today I feel like telling the faculty to take a basic computer literacy course. I could use day off.

Yoon got some wisdom teeth removed yesterday. This would normally be a pretty mundane happening but they gave her some painkillers. We're talking about a girl who refuses to take aspirin for a headache here. She called me hours before I was scheduled to end work and babbled all sorts of craziness at me. Its nice to hear someone who is normally so sensible and direct stray into lala land.

American flags are everywhere. Apparently some high school kids stormed into a mosque here in Denver and demanded that flags be displayed. This is fucking sick. I understand that people are very upset about losing loved ones but this whole big dick patriotism thing is insanity. I read a little editorial this morning about Indians in more traditional dress (turbans I guess) being attacked in public. I wonder how many people the patriots will have to injure or kill before they'll feel better.

The unfortunate side effect is all of this is that I'm becoming very impatient with flag wavers. I know some folks are merely showing support for the fallen but behind these gestures I imagine bared teeth. I'm sorry if you're someone I glared at. I've got my own shit going on too.

The time has come to ask myself the dreaded question: "Do I really have to work at work?" I hope all noders have a safe weekend. Please please please don't blame 250 million muslims for the actions of a few.

Two days ago, we signed a lease.

We will be living in Toronto, for real. No more couches, no more beds in the living room, no more hiding from landlords.

It's real now. A house that will belong to all of us, a place we can all call home.

The world is in mourning, but there is still joy.
An update concerning Hermetic:

Today, my first day back at work since Monday, I found a mail in my inbox from Adam's ex-wife. Because I have not have been given permission to do so, I can't share that mail publically, however there are some details that I must disclose.

His family, feeling that Adam would not desire it, have decided against a funeral.

She told me many things which have helped me to feel more comfortable with the events that occured. She thanked me for my efforts, and having been only one of many who tried to help Adam, I want to pass those thanks on to everyone who did what they could out of concern and love for him.

I responded with condolences, and asked to be notified of any other type of service which may be arranged if it was okay with the family, and asked if it would be okay to forward such information to Adam's friends.

I know that many of you feel the same as I do. We are left with no sense of closure. For that I apologize. I will forward what information I can, when I can. Adam's family's wishes will be adhered to.

I am sorry I have not specifically called many of you personally to forward this information. I am in a state of emotion which would not currently allow me to convey this information reasonably.

I appreciate greatly the outpouring of concern and sympathy I recieved from many of you. Please do not concern yourself with me, in this world I am very small. It is not possible to come away from an experience like this unchanged. I walk away incredibly sad, and missing a wonderful friend, but ultimately I will be stronger than I was before.

As you pray for those affected by the events on Tuesday, please include Adam and his family.
Today was a very interesting day. Understand, there is this girl from high school who I have wanted to go out with but instead we have become good friends. She attends Pitt and I attend CMU. All of our mutual friends and significant others have move to go on to college.

Two days ago we got together and I learn about this thing she had for me in high school. Apparently she went to great lengths to get me to go out with her, but I was unreceptive. Up until then, I had no idea. She told me that if things were different, we could be together at the present. However, she has a boyfriend, so things between us can't really change.

Last night she was talking to her boyfriend and she told me that she thought he was going to break up with her over the phone. This didn't hit me until this morning. I then realized that there was a small chance for me. All the feelings I had had in high school quickly rushed back to me.

That wasn't the case, instead it turns out everything was alright with the world. Her boyfriend wasn't breaking up with her. And like a leaking ballon, my happiness fell.

The events of the last few days are beginning to tear my family apart.

While the media depicts how this tradegy is bringing our country together, I see too many things falling apart.

"Your sister is a traitor," my mother told me when I asked her if she had talked to my sister yet that day to see if she was okay. Days before my sister was afraid to leave her apartment and that's when the arguments within my family began. My mother told her she should stop wearing her hijab, that she should try to blend in.

My sister is an American. She is also Muslim.

Her mosque has been receiving death threats. Her friends are afraid of leaving their homes. Islam websites have been forced to shut down because of the insane amount of hate mail they are receiving. A man tried to hit a Muslim woman with his car. Everybody is so ready to blame someone, to point fingers. These are innocent people, and I can't help but see history repeating itself.

My family has never quite accepted the choice my sister made when she converted to Islam eight years ago. We grew up pretty much as atheists and she felt she needed something more in her life. Together, we researched religions and beliefs of all sorts. She chose to accept the ways of Islam in her life. I chose to accept nothing, but I respect her decision and I understand it.

The traditions of Middle Eastern countries or the distorted beliefs of some fanatics is what people far too often mistaken as Islam. That is not Islam. The writeups above or from the last few days say more than I could ever say. But I'm so angry right now. I'm angry that my sister, my brother in law, their families, and their friends are living in a state of fear right now. Not from more terrorist attacks, but from their fellow Americans.

I sent a letter to my representatives today. It's the first time I've ever sent an actual paper letter. I guess it's the first time I was ever concerned enough to do so. Not to mention that it's much more effective than arguing with people on message boards and in the office, when it comes to making real change occur.

The text is as follows:

The Honorable Albert R. Wynn
434 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2004

Dear Representative Wynn:
I am writing this letter to express my concerns with regard to our response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. As we pick up the pieces and move forward, there is a great temptation to overreact in such a way as to violate the very freedoms we hold so dear, or to further exacerbate a hatred of the United States that is so prevalent abroad. With that in mind, my specific concerns are listed below.

I believe the first thing we must do is reexamine our foreign policy positions in light of these attacks. The CIA was instrumental in training and funding Osama bin Laden in his previous role as an Afghan rebel during the Soviet occupation. We have been more than willing to fund rebels abroad, taking sides in conflicts we have no legitimate business being involved in. The bombing of the pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, the bombing of civilian targets in Serbia, and the funding of Colombian crackdowns on dissent are just a few examples of a foreign policy that has no respect for international law, or the ramifications of our actions. The recent attacks are horrible crimes, but were also an inevitable result of our willingness to make enemies abroad.

The second major concern I have is with the calls for restrictions on the freedoms and rights that we enjoy as Americans.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens from warrantless searches, yet the FBI has recently been putting the "Carnivore" (renamed "DCS1000") system in place in ISPs across the country . To make matters even worse, it's come to my attention that the Senate has just yesterday passed the "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001", as a rider to the annual appropriations bill for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State Departments . What this law would do is allow any U.S. Attorney to have a wiretap or Carnivore system installed, without the need to obtain a warrant. This amendment was passed by a voice vote, which sends it for consideration to the conference committee, bypassing any floor debate or Senate accountability.

While I understand the desire of the Congress to do something in response to these horrible attacks, terrorist action is no justification for abrogating the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution. Frankly, I find actions like this to be completely unacceptable, and I'm eager to hear what your response to this, and any other violations of our fundamental rights, will be.

My third, and final concern is with our nation's response to these attacks. I am eager for our government to find those responsible, and ensure that justice is done. It is important, however, that we not be drawn into a modern-day Vietnam, resulting in more innocent bloodshed, and playing into the hands of the terrorists. They would like nothing better than for us to react in kind, killing innocent people in our quest for revenge, and galvanizing sentiment in the Islamic world against us. We must be absolutely certain of who was responsible, and have a clear exit strategy to ensure that we do not get drawn into an ongoing cycle of violence.

We must also remember that Afghanistan is a land littered with landmines, whose people were crushed by the Soviet occupation and bloody war to expel them. They did not elect the Taliban, and should not be made to pay for the actions of their government. If and when we find those responsible, they should be made to pay, but if we make no distinction between them and the innocent, then we become that which we despise.

In the days and weeks to come, many decisions will have to be made by you and your colleagues that are directly related to the concerns I've mentioned in this letter. I hope that you will take my views into consideration when making these decisions, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the points I have made. I also look forward to hearing your views on these particular issues.

Yours truly,


Certainly a week unlike any other. And I don't write daylogs.

Beyond the abyss of September 11th, I begin to regain faith in the human spirit. People pulling together. More volunteers than can be put to work at the World Trade Center. More blood donors than anyone knows what to do with. 17.5 million in donations given by AOL users (almost makes me proud to be using them again).

Then everything begins to unravel. All I hear are lies. The Taliban brushes off accusations directed at Osama bin Laden because he doesn't have the communications network to pull something like this off. Then supposedly no one knows where he is. He evacuated his headquarters. Next thing I know, the Taliban reports they have confiscated his cell phone, satellite phone, fax machine, internet connection and probably his blender too. Hmmm, doesn't sound like this gentleman had any sort of ability to build a worldwide communication network.

Well, that isn't what really cheeses my steak tonight. It is the re-emergence of the ugly American after these days of solidarity and caring. Hate crimes, directed at Islamic Americans... people who are innocent Americans just like the rest of us. Okay, everyone has their collection of idiots who just don't get it. That cheeses my steak... but not as much as what else I learned today.

Profiteers. Modern day carpetbaggers. Worse. People and groups posing as charitable organizations raising money for the relief efforts. There have been numerous reports and I'm getting more. Part of the business I'm in, but that isn't important right now. People profiting off the pain and misery of others and from the generosity and caring of so many Americans. Scamming money and credit card information for their own purposes in the name of charity and giving... in the shadow of events that... well, there are no terms harsh enough in the English language to call them.

These people, my friends, are Americans. These people should not get away with it. They are in the same class of humanity as those who killed thousands on September 11th. I know you are out there... I'll be coming for you.

::phone rings::

mom:"Hi reyna! Listen the doctor called, she says she wants to talk to you about the results. Just call me after you talk to them ok?"
me:" Uhh.. did they say everything was ok?"
mom:" Yeah, I just think that they want to tell you about the results, call me back."

me: "Dr. Peche?"
Dr. Peche:"Anandi, hi, the lab results came back and it didn't go away, it is more pronounced now though. What we are going to have to do is have a biopsy to find out what is causing it."
me:"So is it cancer?"

After talking to my dr. I went and looked up what they said I had. They call is dysplasia. It is sort of a pre-cancerous stage. They are cancerous cells but do not necessarily progress to cancer. It all depends on the biopsy what happens I guess.

I don't feel sick. But I guess I am. Or something. It has been a very strange week. To say the very least. I was always paranoid about going to the doctor and thinking I had all these diseases and making myself go crazy. And now they told me something is really wrong, and I don't feel any different than before. I mean I guess it won't really hit me until I get really sick, or if I get really sick.

UPDATE: 9-26-01 Well last Friday I got a second glance at what its like to be really truly scared again. The biopsy was pretty scary. Not that it was painful, although afterwards I was cringing in pain for a good hour or so, it was just the fact that all this was real and I hadn't really wanted to believe it yet. The doctor said it could be a few things, perhaps a virus or real dysplasia. I don't think it would be a virus because it would have to be a sexual transmitted one and considering that I have only been with one guy I don't think its a virus. Of course if it is then I am assuming he got it from some other chick running around out there and I'd be pissed for many different reasons. However, giving him the benefit of the doubt I'm coming to realize that it probably is a mild to moderate, or even severe, dysplasia. And in the midst of all this I'm entering my hardest semester of physics so far and all I do is stress and do homework and study and stress some more. To say the least this semester is going to be the most stressful one yet. Welcome to the real world I suppose.


I have great and wonderful news, I got my lab results back and they said its not cancer for sure. I don't think I have ever been so relieved. Now I look around me and everything seems like its not so important anymore. All this worrying over trivial things just gives you more stress and doesn't mean anything in the end. I thought that I had everything down before, I appreciated life in a pretty unique way, but still I didn't get to enjoy life the way I would have liked to.

It truly is the end of the world as we know it.. Bleh.. as corny as that is.. the truth of it sort of makes me pause.. and feel sad over the loss of innocence lost by EVERYONE who's life was touched by the recent events.

I am really torn right now.. part of me feels like just bawling.. grieving for something I believe that is more valuable than loss of life.. and that is the deflating quality of life .. for all .. fuck my belief in the global higher consciousness .. Part of me feels like shaking people.. The loss of life .. now.. or ever.. doesn't need to have it's worth diminished by a world that doesn't choose to seize the value in their own lives" .. And there is the tiredness of just wishing I didn't care.. even though that is something I would freak out about if it happened..

I believe grief and mourning are part of the healing process.. but wallowing.. is well.. just that..

I don't think I have started to grieve yet.. for personal loss.. for the world's loss.. for the pain felt by those I am close too.. close enough to take it on myself for them if I could.

Part of me wants to rush it.. "Ok this next hour will be sad time.." .. but like all things this powerful.. I sort of fear the loss of never picking up all pieces.. or never fully recovering.. maybe it's not about recovering.. as much as never breaking through to the otherside.. getting lost in it's fog.. and never even really grasping the whole picture to begin with..

Last night I met up with some people who live out here.. Some I hadn't actually met before.. hmm.. It was a highly entertaining evening.. interesting mix of people.. which always rules.. I also got to see Nate, who I haven't seen since Dec '99.
I don't think it's acceptable for me right now to.. be the girl.. as in the weepy emotional one.. or at least wearing my emotions on my sleeve ..
damnit.. I just found out about the damn storms and floods back home.. worrying about that.. and the stuff that goes along with it.. even if the storm doesn't hit.. argh..
When I started writing.. whining was not my intention.. so maybe I should end it now.. and try again later..
Last Friday, I concluded I needed a Sweat. That night, I went home to my mother's where the lodge is built, and lit my sweat fire. I then tried to find anyone who would be interested in sweating that night and found none. I was alone in the lodge that night and since I didn't want to get out too often for rocks, I started with twice as many as I needed. I usually open the lodge with a soft spoken prayer, but this time I called the directions with my voice emboldened. The temperature rose quickly from all the rocks, and was well contained by the blankets covering the shell. I had to lay down and embrace the protection of Mother Earth before my prayers were said.

I prayed for wisdom for our leaders--that they not make rash decisions. I prayed that we learn to see the humanity in our attackers, and that they see our humanity as well. Our leaders have called this a battle between good and evil. I prayed that our leaders understand that from our attackers point of view, we are the purveyors of evil, and they are fighting for god's will. I live in a world of possibilities, so I was surprised, but not shocked. I am just a man in all equality with my brothers and sisters of the world, and who am I to say who may live and who may die? In all equality, who are they to say either? our noses have been bloodied before, and we have stopped the bullies who have delivered the punch. This time our noses are bloody, and our faces battered black and blue. Our leaders have vowed to stop the whole gang that would wish to hurt us over and over. We have the right to protect ourselves, and punishing those who have proven they wish us harm is justifiable. I pray for our warriors safety, and thank them in advance.

I prayed for myself, and the safety of my direct relations. I have friends and family traveling abroad. I asked that their journeys return them safely home. I prayed that the heavy burden of sorrow be lifted from my heart.

For the survivors and their families, I prayed that they find peace, that they remember those lost with love, and that they are not haunted by this long into the future.

This is not a time for hatred. This is a time for understanding. This is not a time for rash decisions. This is a time for clear and decisive action. Protecting ourselves and perhaps the world from terrorism is necessary and unfortunately that means putting our military in harms way. Let us keep the safety of our warriors in mind as this tragedy continues to evolve.

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