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Reflections on Death in September

Ying Lan | Michael | Vance | Sue | Ying Lan again | Multicity | Mark Warschauer | Susanne | Nicia | Maggie | Vance again | Michael again | Susanne again | Vance responds to Michael and Susanne | José

Ying Lan eulogizes her friend
September 10, 2001

For me, or for the person who wanted to buy the Chinese clothes, it is just a memory. He died last Sunday at 4 p.m. when the doctor turned off the machine. I did not know it until Lillian called me at 10 p.m. on Sunday night.

It was an accident in his girlfriend's parents' house. There was a party there on Saturday night. The girl, whose name is Rachel, came from a rich family. The family moved into a big new house in May.

They have a spa pool (hot top) with sauna service in the house. Jacy might have been drinking before they went to sauna room. Around 9 clock, he jumped into the hot top alone, while the others stayed in the sauna room.

We do not know what happened to Jacy, but Alan noticed that there was something wrong in the pool.

Alan called over to the pool asking... but there was no response. He investigated and found that Jacy was stuck in the pool and unconscious.

How long had he been covered by the water? Nobody can say. Probably it was only 3 or 4 minutes, maybe a little longer.

It was difficult to pull Jacy's body out of the pool. His hand had got stuck in the tub of the pool. It took 3 or 4 people to help Alan to move Jacy's body. They tried everything they could .... Someone told me that his heart stopped when he drowned.

When he was delivered to the hospital, the doctors put him in the rescue machine. He got a heart beat again but lost it later. His body became colder and colder ... But he was not alone in the hospital ... Rachel's family, Doctor Yang, Nick, Mona, Ian, and some consultants stayed with him the whole night..

Mona had studied a Medical course before. She told me that even if Jacy had woken up, he would be a vegetable. His brain had stayed with lack of Oxygen for too long a time ... Rather than being a vegetable, death was the best way for him, for Rachel, for his family.

I could not go to sleep that night. I saw Jacy whenever I closed my eyes. The way he talked, the way he joked. He always had a twinkle in his eyes, when he saw me at the desk every night.

I did not have the chance to ask about the details of the clothes before he died. Jacy had asked me to help him to find a Chinese jacket for his niece. He spoiled his niece, he loved it. When the little girl grows up, will she still remember her uncle, Jacy?

"Everything is perfect for Jacy.' Dave told me.

No... he did not have a son, a daughter, a grandson, or a granddaughter .. he deserved it.

We have different kinds of friends in the world ... We hang out with A, but we discuss personal feelings with B. We play cards with C, but we go out to see movies with E....

Between Jacy and me, it was the kind of feeling between sister and brother.

I am 11 years older than him. I did not go out for fun with him. Everytime, we sat down to talk, it was so close. For me he was a good boy. He even he told me about how he had dumped his former girlfriend in Canada.

My favorite session was when he told me about Rachel on May 18, 2001. It was the first time I heard that he wanted to settle down here. "Ying Lan I am in a dilemma now. I don't know what to do.. I really love the girl. I want to stay with her but I have to give up my dream, my business in Fiji. I have been planning that for a long time, you know. But Rachel, she is so nice.. I don't want to leave her... "

I saw the twinkle of delight in his eyes when he mentioned Rachel...

"Don't think too much, the thing you want to do, just enjoy it. It is very great to meet a girl you want in your life. Not everyone has the chance.. " I yelled at him.

They were so sweet when we went out for dinner with Shane at the car washing restaurant.

I was so glad that Jacy and Rachel were so perfect for each other.

I am sure that he never regretted coming to Taiwan to meet Rachel in his life. At least, he had Rachel's love.

Ying Lan

Michael reflects on Ying Lan's and the world's disasters
September 12, 2001

Things are strangely quiet on webheads...I thought someone may have said something by now...I was just about to when YL ICQ'd in...we had a nice chat... a friend of hers has just died in Taiwan....I may send you a copy.

Did you know anyone who worked in the World Trade Center?

The world has changed forever they are saying...and in a way I think they're right.



Vance reflects on loss of one life and that of thousands
September 12, 2001

Hi Michael, Ying Lan, Sue,

Ying Lan has such a nice way with words. She pays a fine tribute to her friend who died young.

Her friend died on the same day that I last saw a good friend of mine one year ago. On Monday night we had a run all together to commemorate the anniversary of her death. She was one of my dive students, I walked in the mountains in Nepal with her and her husband, we used to go camping, and she was a triathlete who had competed in an 'Iron Man" (and finished it) not long before her death. She was struck by a jet ski while swimming off a beach in Abu Dhabi. The driver of the jet ski was never found, nor seriously searched for, and the past year has been a struggle for her husband, who has been working on his MBA and competing in strenuous athletic events and moving here and there around the world, spending a lot of time at his in-law's. If you want to meet her, you can at

And now these small tradjedies are multiplied in the thousands as we witness recent events in New York. Recent terrorist attacks, the devastations in Oklahoma City and Lockerbie for example, each killed as many as 250 people, and the double embassy bombing in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam took around 160 lives. For comparison, the Aug. 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima killed almost 130,000. Unbelievable is a word we hear in the media a lot these days.

I have a message for George "Make no Mistake" Bush and for terrorists and people who hate everywhere:

"No Retaliation".

Stop the cycle of violence now.




The Coffee Cup site, from which the above pictures are taken, lists tenants of the World Trade Towers. If you look at the list of companies that operated there, you can see that many of the Webheads' home countries have been hit just as have American companies:

The Coffee cup site also offers code for the following banner in support of the Red Cross. They say in email: "After the banner is on your site please send your Web Site address where you placed it to: We would like to link to you in solidarity." I have decided to do this because the CEO of Coffee Cup, in justifiable anger, is encouraging counter-attack on countries harboring terrorists. I would like for people visiting his site to perhaps visit mine and see at least one voice raised against further murder of innocent civilians.


The reason that this attack was so dispicable is obvious, but it's important for Americans, and the world, to realize what separates us from people who commit crimes against innocent victims from any nation. I'm sure that many, though apparently not all, Americans agree with me that if the best solution a governments can come up with is more of the same crime inflicted on the other side, then this government does not deserve the support of peace-loving peoples. It's time to stop terrorism whether committed by radical fringe elements or by governments claiming to retaliate on behalf of all its citizens. No one benefits from more violence. Justice by all means, but not murder of innocents, committed in the name of citizens of any nation.

Sue worries about a friend traveling in the USA
September 12, 2001

mysailing: hi, vance, seems all airport in US is closed now

mysailing: my friend is on trip in US

vance_stevens: hang on .. oohh

mysailing: i am still in offfffie, would send mail to you at night, to tell about my worry about the terror

Yahoo! Messenger: mysailing has logged out. (9/12/01 at 2:09 PM)

mysailing (Thu Sep 13 01:36:35 2001): I know little about politics. Do not know how politician make use of us-normal person's feeling, but i think for their political purpose, us, normal person are the victims only.

Ying Lan responds
September 13, 2001

Hi Vance

It is really nice to read your email... especially the last sentence: "No Retaliation. Stop the cycle of violence now." I don't think that people who live in the United States will understand this.

I told myself that maybe Vance has been living in the Arabic World for a long time. He has seen a lot of tragedy happen ... he knows what has been going on in Middle East. It is a cycle of retaliation between them....

For President Bush, he has never had the same experience like you. It would be a difficult thing for him to understand other people's culture, especially the Arabic people .... who live in the Middle East. It is a culture of war and religious war... No solution.

I totally agree with your point. I have the same idea about the Chinese people and Taiwanese people. We should not let our next generation suffer the same pain which we have been suffering our all lives. Just let the hate and violence burn out and leave them in the past.

The only thing we have to do ... is to focus on our future. A happy and peaceful future world is coming now. ... I hope it is true.

Ying Lan

Webheads uses Delphi Forum, a bulletin board provided by Multicity. The day after the tragedy, Multicity issued the following statement:

Subject: Our condolences to the community
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 17:58:46 -0400
From: Alain Hanash <>
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Dear Multicity Webmasters:

Words cannot convey the shock and sadness our entire world felt as we watched the horror of yesterday's events unfold. would like to express our sincerest, heartfelt condolences and sympathy to those who have experienced tremendous losses.

During this tragic time, we are reminded of the importance of our family, of our friends and of our community. would like to help you connect with your friends, family and other members of your community - to talk, to share stories, to learn how you can help.

Today, we've created a special site with information on what you can do. You'll find important phone numbers, community links and contact information for agencies on this page. Community becomes increasingly important as people try to connect, gather information, and support one another. This community is dedicated to those who have been affected in any way by yesterday's events. It will not contain any advertising or information. Additionally, we have turned off all advertising within tools.

Please feel free to add this link to your own site if you feel its appropriate.

The global community of grieves with everyone who has experienced tremendous loss. We will continue to hope and pray for all those who have been touched by this tragedy.

Mark Warshauer posted these sites in his Papyrus News

Mark posted a poem here that I think is really good - Vance: The Binch <-- read it here!
Maye I can find the Dr. Seus text that this is taken from ...

Our weekly live online chat on September 16, 2001 was largely about this trajedy. Click here to read it.

Susanne wrote this
September 16, 2001

Hi all Webheads,

Today I will not be able to join the Webheads because we have a tradition to spend Sunday afternoons doing something togehter. I will speak a few words to you by email instead.

This week had been one of the saddest I can ever remember because of the unthinkable disaster Tuesday. So many people killed - a true tragedy shown again and agin on TV channels all over the world, a scenery of burning and flaaing towers not unlike a bad taste Hollywood disaster movie.

It is horrible and close to unbelievable that some symbolic buildings have been erased or so many lives and positions concentrated on one spot, have sadly come to an end in one blow. Maybe even more depressing to think of is, however, that this tragedy event may for many years to come hereafter have a controllling influence on the world order, suddenly exposing anyone from a muslim background as a possible suspect. We must not forget that although the US people have been free of war taking place on their own land, there has been a heavy export of arms, expertise and men and a srong involvement in many warfare actions as well as other economic controlling manifestations of hen American super potential like trade embargo etc. Although I can understand the grief and despair of all the victims and survivors of the kamikaze pilot attacks, there is no evidence that this widepread terror organization has its outspring from one single nation, and I dislike the idea of the so-called civilized super power waiting to manifestate an invincibility, and if necessary extinguish one of the poorest countries, Afghanistan. Let them get those terrorists if possible, there is not rom for this kind of extreme madness around. It is not hard to understand that some of the oppressed people may find that their heroic actions has been a success; finally they got some efficient revenge. But if and when the US president ( supported by his NATO allies) decides to counteract with brutal uses of armed forces, will we then have solved anything to turn humanity into a more peaceful life together?

According to our educational and pedagogical responsibilities, we may consider how the potential the internet has already shown us many ways of interaction, support telegrams, mailing lists about September 9th, etc. I mean, instead of just adding to feelings of instant hatred and revenge often being first reactions of a schock like this, we may discuss how to strengthen peaceful and true global understanding attitudes.

Hopefully some of you can use my thoughts for more dialogue.


Nicia wrote from Barcelona / Paris
September 19, 2001

Hi Vance, and group,

I´m sorry about the tragic attack in World Trade Center, and I was at Barcelona- Spain, when it happened. People are worried and many of them only praying for the many dead and for peace in the world.

Best wishes for all, and my prayer.


MaggieEE wrote us
September 23, 2001

hi, everyone

Sorry about the tragic attack. I hope everyone in this group is fine. And I hope the pain of it could pass through soon.

God bless everyone.


Maggir from China

Vance continues the thread
September 24, 2001

Personally, I'm encouraged that two weeks after the event there has not yet been the kind of instant and mindless bombing retaliation that many of us had especially feared. It looks like the response to the attack on the USA will be part of a world-wide isolation of the government sheltering the terrorists and an attack on their network. It appears they may have left a paper trail in an attempt to make money in stocks and futures trading on companies most affected by the disaster that they knew was going to happen. Hopefully the Americans will be able to build and sustain a world-wide coalition not only against the Taliban in Afghanistan, but against the terrorist cells who have struck so far in places like Kenya and Tanzania and Yemen, and now New York, and who-knows-where next. It seems to me that the peace and family loving people in the world have an impetus now to try harder to resolve the flash-points that have led to so many innocent deaths, and we all hope that this can be done without causing even more deaths, though this would be inevitable with a ground war in Afghanistan - a frightening prospect with unforseen consequences.

Meanwhile, as we heard from Ying Lan last night, the people in Taiwan are suffering against the ravages of another enemy: a typhoon that has destroyed their metro and disrupted train services on the island.

In these unsettling times, kind thoughts to Webheads everywhere,


Michael tries to put it in perspective
October 3, 2001

Hi everyone.

I received this on another list and I thought it was a really good example of how we can use the events of September 11th to think about History. It is of course talking about History from an American perspective but the points are relevant to all history of all countries I think.


1. History is Full of Unexpected Outcomes: "You all came to school on Tuesday expecting your day to be an ordinary day, but it was not. Many people in New York and Washington went to work expecting it to be an ordinary day, but it was not. Passengers began flights from the east coast to the west coast expecting them to be ordinary, uneventful flights but they were not. History is, indeed, full of unexpected outcomes."

2. History revels the causes of events: "As time goes by, the causes of this tragedy will be discovered and the full time line will be revealed. Those things that preceded and cause this to happen are history. Some of them will be ordinary things, like a flight instructor teaching eager students how to fly. Some will more extra-ordinary. But eventually, history will spill out the causes of these events."

3. History might not have happend this way. "The passengers of the flight that crashed in PA might not have risen to stop the terrorist. Which other building might have been destroyed? How many more people would have died?"

4. History is everyone's story: From the victims to the terrorists, from the firefighters to the guy who helped another out of the building, from the person giving blood in Texas to the child tying red, white, and blue ribbons on car antenas. From the families of those who died, to the families of those displaced, to the families of those who lost their jobs because their place of employment was destroyed. This is indeed everyone's story.

5. History help us understand the present: We are asking why? The answer will be in history. We are asking "What did we do to deserve this? The answer will be found in history. We are asking "What can we do to prevent it from happening again?" And the answer again, will be found in history.

6. The past is different from the present. We have heard this compared to Pearl Harbor. But Pearl Harbor was different. We knew from day one who the attackers were. And we knew what we had to do. Today, the enemy is not another identifiable country, but a group of fanatics who are hiding rather.

7. We study history to keep the memories alive. "You will remember as long as you live what happened on Tuesday, just as I will remember as long as I live what happened on 11/22/63. (the day President Kennedy was shot.) You will remember where you were and what you were doing when you were told. You will remember it like it was yesterday. And you will tell your children less they forget."

8. History reminds us of the continuity of the human experience. Monday the stock market will open. Monday regular program will return to TV with interruption with "breaking news." Monday those not directly affected will try to continue life where they left off on Tuesday.

I know I will return again and again to this event. This year we will study American History in light of September 11, 2001.

Pat Senneville
Wyandotte, MI

Susanne wrote this
October 8, 2001

I wish to express how sad I feel in this actual wartime, the madness of Taliban has to be stopped but will this be the way to do so? We may fear that the situation will become a more permanent siege where those really responsible will go on working from the hidden mountains.

Vance responds to Susanne and Michael
October 9th and 19th, 2001

To Susanne ...

Now that the war has started it does put many of us in a fearful situation. In Abu Dhabi we have changed our behavior a little. The American school was closed indefinitely the day the bombing broke out but reopened the following day. We were warned by our embassy to avoid an area of our corniche that attracts demonstrators, but I ran there last night anyway just to see, and all appeared calm and normal. We have also been warned to avoid the taxis, as most of the drivers are Afghans and Pakistanis. Consequently I let my wife drive me to work this morning, but I think I'm going to get in the cabs with them anyway starting tomorrow.

I feel sure that the rebellion in Pakistan right now is being orchestrated by OBL and the Taliban, since there's so much traffic over the hills between the two countries. Incitement of mobs to violence in Quetta and Peshawar seems to me to be the latest acts of terrorism stemming from Afghanistan. The obvious strategy is to hope the spark will ignite fires all over the Islamic world. The ultimate strategy must be to drive westerners from those countries so as to isolate Israel and win the fight for Palestine that way.

To Michael ...

For another historical perspective, here is an excellent (I think!) article by Indian writer Arundati Roy in the Guardian on the 9/11 events entitled "The algebra of infinite justice".,4273,4266289,00.html

Do you remember I wrote recently on scalphunters who used to be paid to kill native Americans in the southwest of what is now the USA? (I think in researching this that they were paid by the Mexican government which was in control of the region at the time, not the US one - but I'm not sure - maybe Antonio knows something about this ... I've had trouble finding information).

Guys, here's something to write about. In the Big Bend area of Texas there is a town of Presidio where a settler named Ben Leaton built a walled fort. In the museum there are pictures of 'scalphunters' who operated from the Leaton fort. Scalphunters were paid money by the US government to kill Indians (Comanche and Apache in that area) and bring their scalps, or skin with hair attached, for proof of kill and payment.

I got on the Internet to find more information about these people and what the attitude of the people must have been then for the government to sanction the killing of indiginous peoples. It seems very similar to the 'ethnic cleansing' program in the Balkans recently, or the Indonesian government support of the suppression of the Timorese (of many examples).

I found there was a movie in 1967 with Burt Lancaster called the Scalphunters, and I found the following about the Ben Leaton Fort:

If you care to read it, let us know your opinion.

It's apalling to think that one group of people, whoever they are, would sanction the killing of civilians of another group, and it's happened over and over again even in modern times, and in the most "civilized" countries of Europe. Unfortunately, the present conflict can be seen in this perspective, as detailed at the url below.

Of course I am aware that many in the Muslim world claim that Osama Bin Laden has no right or authority to declare a fatwa (death sentence) or jihad (holy war), and he of course does not represent all Muslims or even a fraction of them. As a resident of the UAE, a Muslim country, I do not personally feel any more threatened than I would feel threatened by murderers and criminals in my own country. But as a target of anyone who might obey Osama Bin Ladin, I find the following information .. uh, interesting ?? - some exerpts ...

There's a lot more here, including mention of Al Qaeda attempts to secure nuclear weapons.

There was this more recent article in the New York Times:

A Kuwaiti spokesman for Osama bin Laden issued a blistering televised threat Saturday to kill Westerners.

The events of 9/11 have touched us all and as depressing as it is to bring the subject up, it is the topic which is foremost on our minds, and which is most likely to impact us all.

Take care,


José José sends his greetings
October 20, 2001

The year is coming to an end and we have to be ready to face the balance of such amazing and terrible things that we couldn´t imagine that were ever going to happen.

I from Argentina feel the same as the majority of the people who are mourning because the peace is lost.

So we are aware of terrorism´s consequences, because we had it here, and we had so many innocents who died because of that dirty war. And it up to us to answer the culture challenge to work for the rescue of common sense, and maybe through the contents of the mass media try to advise society not to beg, but to merit the better world we want for us and for our children and successors.

Best wishes for you all

José María De Lorenzis

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Last updated: November 1, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0