Say It Isn't So

Monday, October 10, 2005


The first bomb went off outside my elementary school. The terrorists phoned someone and told them about a bomb being placed in a mail box one block away from the school that I attended. We only knew that they would not let us go home for lunch which was the normal place for lunch way back then. We sat in our classroom, wondering, anxious, starving and waiting to go to lunch. Then KABOOM!!! About an hour after that, we were allowed to head home.

The FLQ (Federation pour la Liberation du Quebec) were upset because they were living in a province that was 80% french speaking but the economic power was held by the 20% that were english speaking. I was one of the "Mon Dieu Anglaise".
These bombs and some bogus bomb threats continued to follow me throughout my high school years. Always placed in mail boxes and across the street from the school. You see I was lucky enough to go to Westmount High School in the city of Westmount. It served an area where the upper crust lived. I did not come from the upper crust, but this school was the closest to where I lived at a mere 3 miles away. I did not go home for lunch while attending this school, and for 5 years straight I ate a lot of Peanut Butter sandwiches. Our most famous student would have to have been William Shatner, aka, Captain Kirk. He was long gone on to Hollywood by the time I got to high school. We got so used to the bomb scares that it became routine. Every Wednesday afternoon we would just go home at lunch time because there was going to be a bomb scare event. It happened every Wednesday like clockwork so I am certain it was a student taking advantage of the situation.

Back then it could be said that these were "gentlemen terrorists". They always phoned in a warning first. There was only one death due to these bomb threats that I can remember. That very first one detonated while a man was trying to disarm the thing. After that the bomb squad got much better at their trade.

This part of my life comes to mind only because of the recent devastating earthquake in Pakistan. It is so easy for us all to readily blame an entire people's for the actions of a few. We hold such great grudges, like the Hatfield's and the McCoys. We believe Usama is hiding out somewhere over there and that people over there have been harboring him and holding dear his intentions. But we cannot and we should not blame them all, and I am happy to see that we are over there to lend a helping hand.

I pray to God that Usama and his cohorts have been dealt with and are finally laid to rest.


At 11:13 AM, October 10, 2005, Blogger mdmhvonpa said...

It's horrible, but the greatest reason that there are so many deaths from earthquakes in that region (From Turkey to India) is that the construction standards are so poor, unenforced and outright ignored. The concrete buildings become tombs at the slightest tremor. Mother Nature kills indescriminately: Muslims, Christians, Hindu and Jew alike.

At 8:59 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger mouse said...

I concur, but these people are so poor that they probably could not afford to pay for better construction when available. In parts of Mexico and South America they have the same problems. Those that have the knowledge are not good samitans.

At 5:00 PM, October 13, 2005, Blogger Amy Byrd said...


Good post. I taught high school for 20 years and we'd get bomb threats all the time. It was awful because we'd have to evacuate the school and stand around for hours and hours until they gave the all-clear. This threats were always from kids, but the authorities had to take them seriously. One time, we evacuated in February and had to stand outside in 30 degree temperatures for almost four hours. No place to sit, needless to say as the ground was soggy from recent snow. Finally, they moved us all to the middle school gymnasium, but by then we were all blocks of ice. Stupid kid stuff.

I agree that we should not blame an entire race, culture, religion for the acts of a few. I got into a thread on a blog that went 102 comments over Michael Graham's comment on his radio show that stated: "Islam is a terrorist organization." This was a Christian blog, and the invective and ridiculous remarks aimed at Muslims infuriated me so that I joined in as the only commenter (out of maybe 20) who said Graham was wrong. First off, Islam is not an 'organization' and second, the terrorists are an extreme few of the world's first or second largest religion - thus you could not state that 'every' Muslim was a terrorist. The debate became quite deep but only because I got hammered. I was attacked from all directions by people who were saying things like 'the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim' and the like. Anyway, I realized there was no winning with these people, but I did keep up my defense for several days running and was glad of it. Michael Graham was fired for his remarks, and I am glad for that, as well.

It always gives me tremendous pride that our country immediately goes in to help others - no matter what religion, what cultural beliefs, what economic interests.... Our country is great.... except for a few idiots who would lump 1.5 billion people into one bad category and figure killing them all is the only way to go.

At 9:28 AM, October 14, 2005, Blogger mouse said...

Amy, there are way too many people who still judge a book by it's cover. I have only been a US Citizen for 3 years now, but I really do love this country! Free speech is wonderful, but the love of all mankind is superb!

At 10:20 AM, October 19, 2005, Blogger Pris said...

an interesting and thoughtful post...yes, all that had to have been scarey. I agree that terroists come from everywhere. There certainly have been more terroist type bombings and killings of children and the elderly in Palestine by Israel than vice-versa, for example, so we have to be careful with our labels.

A citizen for three years. Congratuations!


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