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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Conestoga River House Impact

Conestoga River House Impact


Conestoga River House Impact

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 12:47 PM PDT

This is part of a house floating down the Conestoga River in Millersville, PA. Rammed straight into the bridge and completely crumpled to pieces.

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Texas Wild Fire

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 11:10 AM PDT

Some pictures of one of the wild fires seconds before it destroyed homes.  I was very fortunate.  I rode over on my mower to tell my elderly neighbor lady to leave now.  I was able to stay and fight the fire of of my house with the oversight from someone above.

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Texas Wild Fire

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 08:24 AM PDT

These two pictures are taken seconds before it jump the road and killed the 20 year lady and her baby.  Some of us stayed to fight off the fire.   Most of the homes on this road were destroyed completely because  it jumped several hundred feet at a time in the 40 mph wind.  I watched the tree line go up like a blow torch while sitting and standing by my mower 450 feet away.   The fire was so hot I had to turn my back and bend over.  Within a couple of minutes everything around us was charcoal.

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Labor Day weekend - 2011

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 08:09 AM PDT

Tropical storm Lee slowly churned into south Louisiana out of the Gulf of Mexica changing leisure plans for the holiday.

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Flood zones considered unsafe

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:26 AM PDT

Toxins, molds already starting to raise health concerns along Missouri River flood zone

 

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NEB. - After three months of flooding on the Missouri River, you might finally be relieved to see the flood waters recede.

Now is not the time to put your guard down.

Health experts are highly concerned about the potential of cases related to human exposure to flood-caused toxins and mold.

People are at risk from these agents by simply entering the flood zone, let alone cleaning up a flooded structure. Those with weakened immune systems, asthma or other physical ailments can be placing themselves into a high risk situation when entering the zones.

"There are a lot of dangers out there," said Joan McVoy R.N., the public education nurse at the Nebraska Regional Poison Center. "It is nasty water. It can cause infectious problems. There are chemicals that are in the water. People can even get injured just being around the water."

McVoy said infectious diseases are easy to contract in a flood zone.

"Eating or drinking anything that is contaminated by the flood water can cause diseases. It is important that people make sure they wash their hands a lot. They want to make sure their kids are washing their hands too, especially before meals," she said.

One thing that is often overlooked in this danger zone is a simple rash or a small cut on a person's finger or hands.

"It may become exposed to the flood waters and they get infected, even a little paper cut, which you wouldn't even think about. You want to make sure you are always wearing rubber gloves, rubber boots, and goggles," McVoy said.

The Poison Center nurse cautioned people to seek professional medical assistance if they have even a tiny cut that becomes infected if it was exposed to flood waters.

"If you develop cuts or swelling, drainage or it's red and hot – those are things you want to make sure you get help for right away," she said.

What is in the water is a major concern, according to McVoy.

"Some of the things in the water include fuels, fertilizer, solvents, cleaning agents and all sorts of things that probably got contaminated and into the water. Each one of those causes different problems. We're not even talking about all the mold," she said.

McVoy said some people with compromised immune systems or asthma are highly susceptible to health effects if exposed to mold, which is very common in the flood zones.

"By breathing in that mold it can make them start getting some symptoms. It can cause an allergic reaction for some and others it can be a little more serious, especially those who have asthma," she said.

McVoy said anyone going near the flood zone, even with proper protection, needs to make sure they have their tetanus shots up to date.

"They should check with their doctors. Every eight to 10 years is when you should get your (tetanus) booster," she said.

Other concerns include contact with wild and domestic animals, including dogs, cats, squirrels, reptiles, deer, raccoons and insects that have been in the flood zones.

"You have to be alert and avoid them too." McVoy said.

If flooded out residents are re-entering their homes when water recedes several important steps need to be followed.

"So now we have people going back into their homes. When they go into their house they want to make sure when they open their house the first time to open the windows and door that they can and then leave. If it is contaminated with sewage and flood water – there is most certainly mold in the house. Don't just go in the house and stay in the house. Open up everything and leave for at least 30 minutes," she said adding if they use fans to air out the house, don't allow the fans to blow into the house but rather use them to blow air out of the structure.

"You want to get the moisture out of the house. Don't turn anything electrical back on until it has been checked out by a professional electrician," she said.

McVoy said items in a flood-ravaged house that always need thrown away include mattresses, upholstered furniture, drywall, insulation, carpet and carpet pads.

"You really can't clean it," she said.

As larger and larger numbers of people start cleaning up after the Missouri River flood of 2011, McVoy said she grows concerned that more people will become ill because of the toxins.

"If you look at the flooding, I think people really have to be very careful. Just breathing in the mold fumes – all the little spores that mold puts out. It is important. People just don't think about it. They just think they will go in and clean and there's nothing they need to worry about," McVoy said.

She cautioned those trying to clean up flood damage have rubber boots, rubber gloves, a HEPA-rated breathing mask and goggles on. She also cautioned people using bleach not to mix it with other chemicals that might be present.

"Ammonia or acids will form chlorine or chloramine gas and that can be very serious to people," McVoy said.



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Bloomsburg, PA

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:14 AM PDT

I-80 W closed, picture taken on route 487 in Bloomsburg.

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Bloomsburg, PA

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:06 AM PDT

Main

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Bloomsburg, PA

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:03 AM PDT

Railroad Ave.

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Bloomsburg, PA

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 06:02 AM PDT

Houses near fishing creek

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Bloomsburg, PA

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 05:59 AM PDT

Flood waters in lower end of town

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Bloomsburg, PA

Posted: 08 Sep 2011 05:01 AM PDT

Fishing Creek

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Dick Van Dyke and Malibu's Labor Day Celebration

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 09:59 PM PDT

The 30th annual Kiwanis Chili Cook Off was held in Malibu, California. Children began to anticipate this exciting Labor Day event from the moment the carnival rides arrived on trucks, and begged to be assembled.

 

The Santa Monica mountains are the backdrop, making for a spectacular sight during the evening hours.

 

There were all types of performances, including local artists, the Eco Hero Kids (EHK). The EHK are dedicated to teaching kids and their families how to become stewards of the environment and the world.


Julia Holland, the founder and executive producer of the EHK and the EHK foundation, said," This is a really   important job because we are leaving this world to these children"

 

Along with the chili contest, this year there was a contest to pick a city song. The 5 finalist performed their

submissions. The Henn Family Band's 'Malibu, I love You' was voted the official City of Malibu Song. 

 

It is without exception the biggest treat, was to watch Mr. Dick Van Dyke work his magic on the crowd. His fans range from 2 -72, and beyond. People grin from ear to ear when he begins to sing and dance.

 

He is a gracious, kind, and charismatic man; and a long time resident of Malibu. At the Chili Cook-Off he often gives out the awards. This year he performed two of his hits from Mary Poppins,The audience sat on hay stacks and sang right along with him.

 

Dick Van Dyke has proven to be beloved by generation after generation.

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The Land of Fire & Ice

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 08:23 PM PDT

Iceland is easily one of the most beautiful places I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. I spent two wonderful weeks driving around the ring road, exploring side roads, and soaking in as much of the scenery and culture as possible. Unfortunately, two weeks still isn't enough to see everything, so there will be another trip to Iceland in my future.

 

These are just a few of my favorite shots from my trip there (August 2011).

 

Additional photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xolowercaseyou/sets/72157627389127325/

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CRAZY FLOODING ON MILL CREEK IN OTEGO 9.7.2011

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 07:21 PM PDT

In the back yard there is usually a 4 -6" creek...

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Summer in Iceland

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 06:58 PM PDT

1. On a 6 week trip to Iceland this summer with the Snorri Program, our group spent one night in Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. A midnight walk up the hill in the harbor gave us our first good view of the moon in over 5 weeks.

 

2. Climbing Sandfell with my cousin on Iceland's East Coast will remain one of my favorite memories from my trip this summer. It was a rough climb, but the view from the top was worth every step.

 

3. A split minute decision to drive to Skálanes was one of many surprise adventures I got to have in Iceland this summer. This remote area was one of the most beautiful that I saw, and the most fun to get to, with foggy mountain passes to cross, and small rivers to fjord in my cousin's SUV.

 

4. South of Lagarfljót in East Iceland, an impressive cloud bank started to cover up the mountain as we drove through the valley.

 

5. Ísafjörður is the largest town in the breathtaking West Fjords of Iceland. I recommend a stop at Gamla Bakaríið for top notch pastries.

 

6. Climbing Mt. Esja, just outside of Reykjavik was a real bonding experience for the members of the Snorri Program. Most of us were raised on and around flat land and weren't quite sure how we would fare climbing a mountain.

 

7. Kerið is a volcanic crater lake near the Golden Circle sites (Geysir, Gullfoss, and Þingvellir) and is well worth a stop on your way back towards Reykjavik.

 

8. Gullfoss is probably the most impressive of the Golden Circle sites. Like most places in Iceland there are few, if any, warning signs about getting too close to the edge of a dangerous spot. In fact, here the edge of the waterfall is roped off by an ankle height rope that looks like it is meant to trip people rather than keep them safe.

 

9. Strokkur is the geyser that actually erupts at Geysir, another stop on the popular Golden Circle tour. Watch to make sure you're either downwind of Strokkur or wearing a raincoat on days when there is a stiff breeze.

 

10. Þingvellir, the site of the oldest Parliament in the world.

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Hudson River FLOODED w/ Mud

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 05:52 PM PDT

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene there is a new massive problem, flood waters. The water is slowly receding & has now reached New York Harbor.

 

The  massive amount of rain which has flooded communities in Vermont, New  York's Catskill Mountains, New Jersey, the Poconos in Pennsylvania &  many other Northeast states has come to a head. They all have a common  vessel to travel South, the Hudson River.

 

After seeing an article from a satellite image from NASA of the brown sludge of mud & debris, I took a look for myself.

 

The water is actually a rust color.

 

 

~alleebeth

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More CNY Flooding!

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 05:37 PM PDT

More flooding in Central New York. Ilion. Steele Creek has jumped the bank again. Twice in two weeks. This is a distance shot of Ilion DPW trying to rebuild the bank again. Our basement has flooded again and it's getting deeper much quicker this time around.

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100 year flood 2x in 5 yearson Mill Creek Sept. 7, 2011

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 05:24 PM PDT

100 year flood 2x in 5 yearson Mill Creek Sept. 7, 2011

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Otego NY Flooding Sept. 7, 2011

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 04:55 PM PDT

Otego NY Mill Creek Road! Escobars body shop flooded out!

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Mill Creek Road FLOODING Otego NY September 7, 2011

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 04:04 PM PDT

This is the second "100 Year flood" in 5 years!

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West Corners, NY Floods

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 04:03 PM PDT

Endicott, NY- After several days of rain there is a lot of flooding around Broome County, NY.  The photos and video show Nanicoke Creek in West Corners, NY (a division of Endicott).

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Wake up America under Attack!

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 12:06 PM PDT

Wake up! Wake up! My brother yelled at 8am. Tuesday morning. What? America is under attack! WHAT?

 

My brother goes on to tell me how the first plane had hit the WTC. In my head I was like do we have to dig a tunnel? Find a bomb shelter? See as a child my mom would tell us stories of the time Pakistan went to war with India and they had to dig tunnels and make bunkers in homes. So when my brother told me America was under attack those were the thoughts in my head.

 

It was my first year in the US, first year in college and that one single event went on to define who I am as an adult. At the time i think all American muslims became defensive when it came to the teachings of the Prophet, but yet were scared. My parents who were not in the states at the time, saw pictures of falling people from WTC and the after match attacks on Muslims and told us to stay in side and keep a low profile. Skip classes and do whatever needed to be safe.

 

I had been brought up Muslim, having read the Islamic Studies all through school until college, as required by all Pakistanis at the time. And never in my k-12  education did I ever think or feel that a Muslim could be as cruel and heartless as the media was portraying. That lead me and others to do presentations on educating the community on Islam, funded  of course by federal dollars.

 

Paranoia was common amongst all student Muslims and they all started to doubt everyone's intentions, but with no where to turn; Muslim american students crossed paths and started expanding their social circle aggressively to include non Muslims. The most logical step at the time to avoid getting attention; at a time when it seemed like every Muslim was being illegally detained/ rendition etc.

 

That was my reality that I shared with thousands of Muslim students across the nation. So many experiences have shaped who I am; most of them have to do with how 9/11 changed everything. I can write a book about American profiling, hate, love, patience and how still at the end of the day; The United States of America is the only country I call home and where I truly feel safe.

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tears

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 11:48 AM PDT

I cried a lot that day. I've cried a lot of the days since then.
Everyday my flag waves proudly on my home. Heart still hurts. Love my USA

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SwampWaters - flooding in the swamps

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 06:34 AM PDT

Flood - Master 2011

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Iceland's Westman Islands

Posted: 07 Sep 2011 06:24 AM PDT

We decided to explore off the coast of Iceland too. We took a 30-minute flight on a  small prop plane from Reykjavik to the Westman Islands to learn more  about the natural disaster that left part of the town of Heimaey buried. The volcano Eldfell, even though it's dormant now, erupted in January  1973 and buried about 70 houses and farms under tephra. Another 300 were  destroyed by fire or lava flows. A few of the destroyed structures are  still visible and have been preserved. Old-timers have marked the lava  to indicate where streets and their homes are buried. The eruption  lasted more than five months. The cleanup took years. To find out more about our Iceland adventure or other travels, visit www.marcburba.com.

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What We Saw That Day

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 10:03 PM PDT

I was age 10 on 9/11/01, we will never forget what happened on that day. Everybody realized that life will never be the same anymore.

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America vs. America: Sikh-American Recalls Backlash of 9/11

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 09:36 PM PDT

American vs. America: Sikh-American Recalls Backlash of 9/11

 

We all remember incidences that shape and impact our lives. I recall waking up on September 11th, 2001-give or take around 7:30am. The sky was blue and the sun was shining bright on that fall morning. In my life, it was just another day for a 12–year-old, Sikh-American teenager in 7th grade. At this moment, I didn't know this day would change my life forever and the lives of many Americans throughout the nation.

I heard the TV blasted on the morning of September 11th but I didn't pay much attention to it as I thought it was just a normal morning. I heard commotion coming from the TV set, then my dad called me over. We were watching coverage of Flight 175 flying into the South  Tower; the coverage repeated itself, over and over again. I stood there in awe, shocked! I stared at the screen in disbelief, the attacks were more than 2,500 miles away from me – but I felt like it was in my own backyard. At that age, I didn't even know what The World Trade Center was.

Living on the West Coast, students in California were still allowed and encouraged to attend school. While I sat in my 1st period Science class my school principal addressed the situation that had unfolded on the East Coast, hours prior. My classmates and I rose for a moment of silence for the lives that had been lost and we were encouraged to ask our teacher questions. At that moment, I felt like there was a period of unity throughout the nation.

 

America was brought together, old relationships had been reconciled, neighbors were united, and many cars & homes displayed the American flag proudly. On the other end of the spectrum, there was black smoke lingering in the air – a backlash toward people who "looked" a certain way. Days and weeks after the attack there was much animosity in the air. Middle Easterners and South Asians were being harassed, ridiculed and attacked.

 

At this time, I recall receiving emails from members of the Sikh community urging people to stay safe. They advised us to avoid being alone, walk away if somebody harasses you, carry a cell phone when out in public, and collectively monitor Sikh owned businesses and houses of worship.  At that time, more and more news flourished, hate crimes were on the rise against Americans who didn't "look American".

 

I remember thinking about what was going on. I was an American and so were the members of the communities being attacked; Sikh, Muslim, South Asian, Arab & darker skinned Americans alike. My family had been in this country for a quarter of a century and we were being told to stay clear of attacks from people within our own country - Americans fighting Americans? How did that make sense?

 

As Gandhi once said "An eye for an eye would make the whole world blind". Why couldn't people understand that?

The last 10 years have been challenging for Americans in terms of coping with the aftermath of 9/11. It has been tough for families who have lost loved ones and for those affected by the backlash.

 

Since 9/11 - people of color are more likely to be racially profiled, searched, harassed and attacked based on appearance alone. Now that we approach the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, there is a lot that has changed and much more that still needs to be changed. I am happy to say that I hold a piece of that puzzle which will bring change upon America, to create a more accepting society where people of all faiths and beliefs can be treated equally.

 

Headquartered in New York, The Sikh Coalition is a non profit organization that works toward creating a place where human and civil rights are available for ALL people. I am a volunteer advocate for The Sikh Coalition, in the Bay Area. As a grassroots advocate, my duty is to fight for civil rights both locally and nationally.

 

I hope that in due time, all Americans will be able to peacefully coexist regardless of characteristics that may make us difference than one another. Our uniqueness is what defines who we are as Americans, be loud, be proud & embrace it!

 

- Saranjit Kaur Banga

saranjit.sikhcoalition@gmail.com

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My 9/11 Story - Pittsburgh, PA

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 06:43 PM PDT

I was an 18 year old senior in high school living in Pittsburgh on 9/11.  I was in the middle of a history class on that morning when the planes struck the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon.  Our history class was called  "Leadership" and it was a class in which we discussed world issues - current, past and how they connected,.  On that particular morning, we had just begun to discuss the Vietnam War, and the attitudes and opinions that other countries had towards the US because of our tendancy to become involved in global causes and issues.  Being as I was only 18 years old, I barely remembered the Gulf War.  The war in Vietnam was so unrelatable, there was no connection to me.  Then there was a knock at the classroom door.  A school administrator was there to explain what was going on in New York and Washington.  When our teacher explained that planes had crashed into the World Trade Centers, I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't know what he was talking about.  "World Trade Centers" meant nothing to me.  I was only 10 when the first bombing at the Trade Centers had occured.  My parents had done a pretty good job of protecting me, making sure I didn't hear about things that might keep me up at night. Ironically, at the time, I had a framed picture at home of myself and a friend standing directly in front of the Towers. It was taken a year earlier on a school trip.  Before that day, the Tower's names had never mattered to me, but they were a symbol of New York City.  When I saw that skyline, I knew what I looking at . By the time I walked into the hallway after class and saw the Towers burning on a TV in an adjacent classroom, I knew something big had happened, and I was very scared.  I didn't watch the towers fall, I listened to it, via a radio news report in my next class.  We didn't have a TV in there, so we all gathered around my teachers portable radio to hear what was going on.  When the Towers fell, my teacher started crying.  I didn't understand at first.  How could they fall? I didn't believe it, they couldn't be gone.  It was in my next class that I watched the video footage replayed again and again.  They weren't editing out anything yet, and I watched people jump from the buildings, wondering how bad it must have been for them to have chosen such an awful death.  At the time, my father worked in in downtown Pittsburgh in the U.S.  Steel Building, the tallest building in our city.  An hour before it had seemed unlikely that a terrorist would target a city like Pittsburgh, but when the plane crashed in Shanksville, it seemed possible that there were attacks planned for EVERY city.  The phone lines were jammed for a while even in Pittsburgh.  When I got  ahold of my Mom, she told me that my father was safe, he'd been evacuated.  I was pretty hysterical at that point, terrified that planes would continue to crash.  My mom reassured me that they had accounted for all the planes.  She told me that she'd come get me if I wanted, but that she wasn't putting the news on.  She'd picked up my 7 year old brother from school, and she wasn't showing him footage.  He knew planes had crashed, but that was the extent of his knowledge for years.  I chose to stay at school, with my friends.  We watched the news coverage all day, and the next day, and the next.  So many things have never been the same.  I was always a little nervous to fly, but since then I have anxiety over it.  24 hour news access became the norm.  After  9/11,  there were these thoughts.... "Could that man be a terrorist?"  "What's in his bag?"  "If I had to escape, how would I do it?"  The terrorist's pictures were splashed across the television everyday.  If I saw someone who looked like them, my heart jumped.  Slowly, things returned to normal. I didn't think about it every minute, but to be honest, I think I've thought about that day at least once a day for the past 10 years. My family, especially my mom, dosen't really talk about 9/11.  I think the fact that she couldn't protect us from seeing what happened that day still bothers her.  She doesn't like to dwell on the past, and truly, I don't either.  But every year, when 9/11 rolls around, I find myself talking about it, seeking out stories from friends, finding documentaries to watch.  Last year, I watched a series called "The Falling Man."  It was about the search to uncover the identity of a man, captured in an iconic photo, falling from the towers on that day.  That photo was on the front page of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on September 12th 2001, and the image stayed with me for years.  I always wondered who it was, and if his family knew that he was the man in the picture.  Watching the documentary comforted me in a way.  In the photo, you couldn't see the man's face.  He could have been anybody. Anyone could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time on 9/11.  To the family who thought the photo might be their relative, it didn't matter.  Because to them, his life would never be defined by the way he died.  He defined himself by the way he lived.  I'd like to think that a terrorist attack like 9/11 could never happen again, but I know that would be naive.  I want to honor those who died on 9/11 by living a good life, leading by example for the kids I teach, and for the kids I one day hope to have.  I'll always remember 9/11 as a day that the world changed for the worse, but also as a time when people came together to show love for their country, friends, and family in a way that I'd never seen before.

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Reykjavik on a summer evening

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 06:06 PM PDT

This was taken in Reykjavik at about 10 pm on a summer evening in 2011.

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A day to honor all who died and gave their lives in the service of their country whether military or civilian, whether man or woman.

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 02:03 PM PDT

I was living in the Gold Coast area of Chicago at the time of 9/11. I can tell you I will never forget what I was doing. I was in between classes for my medical school class and I was in our library emailing my boyfriend, at the time, who happened to be in the Air Force.

 

I happened to glance over on my Yahoo news and saw the headlines about the 2 planes hitting the WTC towers.  At first, I envisioned small single engine airplanes hitting. I figured, "Oh, it isn't bad." So I sent my email off and noticed my boyfriend had emailed me just as I sent the email to him. The email said told me that he loved me. He told me to be safe. And that things there were utter chaos and said "I just lost a lot of good people in the Pentagon."    My mind was a whirlwind, trying to process this information. It was clear to me then. Someone had declared war on America and her citizens. And then it hit me.

 

Classes let out shortly after as there were unconfirmed reports that yet another plane was headed to Chicago. The school and my apartment was 2 blocks from the Hancock Building and a little over 5 minutes from Sears Tower. So I made my way home and waited, terrified. Of course, there wasn't a plane headed to Chicago so I felt a little better but that was quickly replaced with utter sadness as I witnessed live on TV the fall of WTC towers. I was on the phone with my best friend who was a year ahead in medical school and a fellow San Antonian. We both cried on the phone together as we watched the news unfold. That day has always stuck with me and it will until the day I die.

 

I actually moved to NYC nearly 3 years later to go to residency in Manhattan at a hospital now closed. One of the first things I did upon my arrival is visit and pay homage to NYC and the victims of 9/11 by visiting the WTC. It was an intense experience, and by that, I mean that such emotion flowed through me once I stood next to it. I brought my parents, several days after my arrival, and my mother had the same experience I did.  I stayed in NYC for 6 years and returned to my native Texas last year. Although I won't be in NYC this year for 9/11, I will be observing the day with my family and keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers.

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On a cruise to the Bahamas

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 02:01 PM PDT

On 9/11 a friend of mine and I boarded a cruise ship around 6 am in Fort Lauderdale, Florida headed for the Bahamas.

 

It was an exceptionally beautiful day. Although normally I would watch the morning news, on the ship, I couldn't find one that was turned on, so we didn't know anything about it

until we arrived at our hotel. My friend went to check on our tour itinerary, I was unpacking in the room, when I heard the people in the next room screaming and shouting. I thought they were having an argument. I decided to turn on the TV to drown out the noise of the "argument" next door, and moments later saw a plane hit the second tower LIVE!

 

At first I didn't know WHAT I was looking at, I hadn't spoken to anyone, so for a few seconds, I thought it was some kind of crazy movie or something...until I noticed the "LIVE" symbol on the TV screen. I sank down, I could not figure out what was happening, Even the news anchors didn't really seem to understand. There were long awkward pauses in the broadcast like everything was moving in slow motion, yet  everyone was scrambling to figure out what was going on.

 

I felt the tears rolling down my cheeks in a steady stream  as I realized the people in the room next door who I thought had been arguing were hysterical. Later I found out their daughter or daughter-in-law worked in one of the buildings. They were hysterically trying to get a flight back but no planes were flying. Eventually my friend came back to the room. I told him what I had seen and by that point the whole country knew what had happened. We just cried together and tried to reach some people we knew in New York City but were unable to get through. For the next 5 days, we were in shock, I was numb. The people next door were not crying anymore, there was nothing but silence. The only photo I have from that visit to the Bahamas is a photo of me standing next to a flagpole with the flag at half mast.

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66º 33’ N, 18º 01’ W: Grímsey

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 01:36 PM PDT

I am an archaeologist from the states. Currently I am attending graduate school at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík studying Icelandic archaeology. My thesis research area is the small island of Grímsey that is located off the north coast of Iceland and straddles the Arctic Circle at 66º  33' N, 18º 01' W. I was able to visit Grímsey over the summer and had a wonderful time walking the island, bird watching and visiting with the sheep.

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9/11 Love Story

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 11:38 AM PDT

I was there the very moment my little sister laid eyes on her future husband Andrew. We were in a restaurant in the shadow of the World Trade Center. My older sister's husband Stuart introduced everyone as we stood in a large circle. We decided we needed a change of venue and the entire group went up to the bar in the Windows of the World restaurant and it was beers all around. I had no idea at the time the love my sister and Andrew would have for each other.

 

Andrew and my sister eventually had a baby girl. My wife and I had a baby boy. They had another girl, we had another boy. Our families traveled all over together, Sun Valley, Jersey Shore, Las Vegas for my fortieth, Napa Valley, New York City. Andrew and I even used to order the same entrees at restaurants, we liked the same wines, and really enjoyed the times our families spent together.

 

During one of those trips Andrew told me he was working on the top floor of the Trade Center. "Up there for all of the terrorists to see" is what he said. I asked him what he meant and he said "They tried to take them down once, you don't think they are going to try to finish the job?" His brother Tim had survived the first attempt. He would not survive the second.

 

Early in the morning on September 11th, 2001 the phone rang. My father in law told me the towers were down. I didn't believe him. I turned on the TV and sure enough, the towers were still up but one was on fire. I didn't realize I was watching a west coast replay of the event. Stuart, Andrew, and Tim all worked at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor. Stuart had given his notice the Thursday before and had decided not to go to work that day. Andrew and Tim were lost forever that morning, never to be found. Stuart told me he attended over 35 funerals in the weeks following.

 

My four-year-old son had a dream he told me about several days after the attacks. He said he dreamt a man was waving goodbye to him. I asked if he thought it was Uncle Andrew and said no it couldn't be because "A big fire had come and Uncle Andrew blew away."

 

Andrew and Tim used to leave for work very early in the day. I have often wondered if they had a chance to kiss their wives and children goodbye that morning. I vowed to always tell my sons and wife how much I love them and appreciate them. I never let them leave without a hug and a kiss and an "I love you" no matter how embarrassing it may be in front of school.

 

I had watched the Trade Center being built when I was in high school in New Jersey. One tower rising with the other right behind it. Later on my father got an office there for a little while. He took all of his children to the office to show us around. He was so proud of his address. No matter that there was four different businesses crammed in one office sharing one secretary. He really felt that he had finally 'made it'.

 

We miss Andrew and Tim as if it happened yesterday. One of my favorite memories of Andrew is he and my sister dancing at our wedding here in Seattle. That was September 11, 1994.

 

I loved those guys, and I loved those buildings.

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1920's SUBWAY TAKES YOU BACK IN TIME

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 11:14 AM PDT

As part of a promotional campaign for HBO's Boardwalk Empire New Yorkers have a chance to go back in time as passengers on a fully restored vintage 1920's subway train. The four car train runs on weekends from Times Square to 96th Street on the 2-3 line.

 

Even before the train got to the station at 42nd Street and Times Square, I knew this was the real deal. I could literally smell the oil burning as the cars tugged past me one by one. Modern subway trains no longer burn oil and I was immediately transported back in time, even before I boarded the beautifully restored last car on the train.

 

The train boasts ceiling fans, sliding casement windows, straw cane seats and wooden slats that in the past listed the train's destination. The only inauthentic note on the train is that these slats read 'Boardwalk Empire' instead of 'Flatbush Brooklyn'.  The straw seats were surprisingly comfortable when compared to today's metal seats.

 

Seen from afar it seemed to me I could almost see the ghostly images of those who rode the train in times past. Look closely at some of my images and see if you don't agree.

 

The train will be running on Saturdays and Sundays through the end of September on the 2-3 line between Times Square and 96th Street from noon to 6 pm.

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Along the shore

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 07:28 AM PDT

We landed in Reykjavik in the morning, and we immediately went out for a long, aimless walk.  We ended up on this bike and pedestrian path along the waterfront, where they had these wonderful, colorful houses.  I took so many pictures on that walk.  This was one of them.

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Hornbjarg in the West Fjords

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 07:25 AM PDT

A view from the cliff tops in Hornbjarg in the West Fjords of Iceland.

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Typical Iceland Road

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 07:25 AM PDT

Once you leave the relative comfort of the town or cities, this is typical of the Icelandic roads. One can drive literally for hours and see nothing, no trees, houses, cars or wildlife. This lush lowland area differs significantly from the uplands area, which is often barren with lichen-covered lava rack as far as the eye can see in all directions. Never venture too far without a reliable vehicle and a tank full of gas - not too many places to fill up in the countryside.

 

Richard Wile

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Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 07:23 AM PDT

Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon with the glacial face in the background.

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Sculpture overlooking Reykjavik Harbour

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 07:15 AM PDT

This lovely steel creation stands guard over Reykjavik Harbour and is a testament to the Viking past of the region.

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SwampWaters - Tropical Storm Lee - Labor Day

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 06:42 PM PDT

Lower Livingston Parish

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