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Marylanders Try to Channel Anger, Show Patriotism 

By Capital News Service
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001

ANNAPOLIS - Maryland tried, but couldn't quite, get back to normal 
Wednesday, one day after terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center
towers in New York and heavily damaged the Pentagon.

The state was still under the state of emergency declared by Gov.
Parris N. Glendening after Tuesdays events, but government offices were
open for business Wednesday.

Citizens cast about for ways to cope and to show their support for
their country.

"I'm just a little pissed off, that's all," said a man who would only
give his name as Todd. The 61-year-old from Bladensburg was standing at the
intersection of state Routes 450 and 410, waving an American flag
Wednesday morning.

"The public doesn't really seem that upset about it," he said, standing next to a sign that called for the bombing of Afghanistan on one side while urging the Israelis to "open up" on the Palestinians on the other.

"That was a good one," Todd said, as one car passed with a honk. He
said he'd prompted several other drivers to respond, but after an hour he
was thinking about relocating because of a disappointing response.

Elsewhere in Maryland, American flags of all sizes sprouted along roadways
and on cars. Some accompanied messages spelled out on signs. Others hung 
silently at half-staff.

Following the president's lead, Glendening ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset Sunday.

Prayer services were assembled and well attended at churches, temples
and synagogues.

"We're in this with all our brothers and sisters of all faiths," said Rev. David G. Oravec, of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick, where a special open service was arranged for Wednesday night by about 12 local churches.

"It's important that we are seen praying together," Oravec said.

The state sent what aid it could. National Guard units and special search and rescue teams joined others in recovery efforts at the Pentagon. Medical resources bound for New York set out just before 4 p.m. Wednesday aboard the hospital ship USS Comfort docked in Baltimore.

The ship has 250 beds, and after a supply stop in New Jersey, will
carry 730 medical staff to New York to aid in the recovery, said Marge
Holtz, director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift
Command.

Maryland transportation slowly gained regularity throughout the day, with all Metro rail stations open by 3 p.m.

At Baltimore-Washington International Airport, which like every U.S. 
airport was ordered closed by the Federal Aviation Administration
following the jetliner crashes, workers began revamping safety protocols
Wednesday. The airport remained closed awaiting word from the Maryland
Department of Transportation, airport spokeswoman April Thompson said.

The airport will immediately eliminate curbside check-in, per just-announced FAA regulations, Thompson said.

Schools attempted to put a degree of normalcy back into lives of
the state's children.

All but four Maryland public school districts -- St. Mary's, Prince 
George's, Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties -- were open Wednesday. Most school systems in central Maryland had cancelled classes Tuesday
afternoon.

Local districts retained authority to close schools under the governor's 48-hour state of emergency.

"The most important thing we can do for children at this time is to 
provide stability and normalcy," said John O'Rourke, Howard County Public 
Schools superintendent.

School districts will offer grief-counseling services to children in each school, and some districts will send letters to parents with tips on how to discuss the attacks with their children.

Retailers also felt the ripple effect.

By midmorning Tuesday, numerous shopping malls had closed, said Tom Saquella, president of the Maryland Retailers Association. Business is not expected to bounce back for three or four days, Saquella said. "No question retailers suffered, but that pales in comparison to lives lost." 

Copyright 2001 University of Maryland College of Journalism


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