Looking for Hope but Simply Staring

Like everyone else, I've been glued to the TV and radio all day today. The carnage, the tragedy, the horror continues to unfold. It's Tuesday, the day CityBeat goes to press. I have to keep forcing

Like everyone else, I've been glued to the TV and radio all day today. The carnage, the tragedy, the horror continues to unfold.

It's Tuesday, the day CityBeat goes to press. I have to keep forcing myself to get back to work, to stare at the computer.

My sister-in-law works a mile or two from the Pentagon in Northern Virginia. She's fine, but they had to retrieve their daughter from daycare via bicycle because all the roads in the area were closed.

My brother-in-law is a pilot for American Airlines. After hearing that two of the hijacked planes were American flights, I call his home in Nashville, Tenn. He answers. That's all I need to hear.

I remember that my sister's finacee is traveling on the East Coast, so I call.

My sister, near tears, says he was in the World Trade Center 20 minutes before the first plane hit, catching a commuter train to his company's office in New Jersey. He's OK.

So the terror hits home, in very small ways. And I'm just one person in Cincinnati. Who knows, before this is all over, how bad it will be for how many people?

Occasionally my stares are interrupted by people wanting to talk about today's paper. Oh yeah. The paper.

We have brief conversations about how CityBeat should deal with the tragedy. What we should write? Can we contribute anything to the public's understanding of this?

Today is the kind of day I wish we weren't a weekly. By the time we hit the street Wednesday afternoon, anything we write about the situation now will be old news. Certainly it'll be old news by the time someone picks up the paper over the weekend.

We decide to scrap the cover we'd planned. It was to be our "That's Soooo Cincinnati" feature, a fun reader participation idea we'd done a few years ago. You can still find it here. Out of respect for the gravity of today's incidents, though, we pull the cheeky woman-in-Oktoberfest garb image from the cover.

Instead we cobble together already scheduled stories from our news section — stories that, one way or another, speak of Cincinnati's connection to the rest of the world. Today Cincinnati also takes the first step to choose leadership for our troubled city. (Our report on the mayoral primary is here) The terrorism events make that election seem trivial in some ways.

Maybe the silver lining from today is that Cincinnatians of all colors, races, creeds and sexual orientation can see past our differences, suck it up and pull together. ©

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