07/07/05 — Wayne residents react to London bombings

View Archive

Wayne residents react to London bombings

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on July 7, 2005 1:45 PM

Sadness and outrage.

Those were the emotions Wayne County residents expressed in the aftermath of the bombings of the transportation system in London this morning.

"It's terrible," said state Rep. Louis Pate of Mount Olive, who is a member of the Wayne Chamber's Military Affairs Committee.

"Yesterday, they were on a high. They'd just received word the 2012 Olympics would be held there, and they were having a celebration. Then today, this falls on them."

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is operating normally today, said Capt. Tana Stevenson for 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs. She said there are currently no special procedures in reaction to the attacks in London.

Mrs. Stevenson said everything operations-wise was "business as usual" this morning at the base, but the horror of the latest act of terrorism could be felt all over.

"It's disgusting," said businessman Dave Quick, who is a member the Military Affairs Committee.

"The people who left the bombs have no respect for life, or themselves, only their stupid excessive ideas. I don't know anything to do but help them on their way to Paradise."

Quick said he doesn't have any answer to the situation.

"If I did, I'd be sitting on the right hand of George Bush," he said. "It's frightening. My youngest daughter lives in New York City and rides the subway all the time."

Military Affairs Committee Chairman Jimmy Edmundson said he feels for the people affected by the attack.

"It sounds like it's not as big as the 9-11 attack on the U.S., but it's something everyone ought to be concerned about," he said. "The people who did this place no value on human life."

But the news didn't come as a shock to everyone.

"I've been wondering why it hadn't happened earlier," said Retired Air Force veteran Hal Keck, who served in Vietnam.

Because of the openness of a society, it's easy to leave a package on a bus or an underground train and have it go unnoticed, Mr. Keck said.

"When I was in Vietnam, my barber turned out to be Viet Cong," he said. "The security people had to kill my own barber on the flight line. He was putting down satchel charges."

"It's a terrible thing, but it's a form of warfare extremists use," he said. "Terrorists don't care who they kill or anything about gender or age or religion. All they want is to cause chaos and terror and eventually cause demoralization in the population."

One financial planner, who asked that his name not be used, said today's situation "could be a volatile one" on the market scene.

"We're watching it pretty closely," he said. He said it brings to mind the effects felt following Sept. 11, but noted that the market tends to fluctuate and often bounces back after a tragedy.

"It's a hang-on thing," he said. "We don't see panicking or anything."

Wilbur Hart, a resident of The Pines, said it was sad.

"I just can't believe this has happened," Mr. Hart said as he watched the coverage on television.

Any distraction the explosions in London might create for the G-8 summit is cause for concern to Ann Huffman, volunteer coordinator at MERCI in Goldsboro.

MERCI, an acronym for the Marion Edwards Recovery Center Initiative, works globally and locally in disaster relief projects and housing in conjunction with the United Methodist Church.

Mrs. Huffman said it would be disappointing if terrorists were to succeed in interfering with African poverty relief, one of the top items on the G-8 summit's agenda.

"I would really regret its having some kind of negative impact on African poverty relief, due to the magnitude of the AIDS pandemic, other medical involvement and overriding poverty of the people on the African continent," Mrs. Huffman said this morning.

Volunteers and staff at MERCI have sent medical supplies, textbooks and other forms of aid to various African nations, including Sierra Leone and Liberia. MERCI's Zimbabwe Orphan Endeavor provides aid to children who have lost parents to the AIDS epidemic.

Mrs. Huffman has been monitoring both the G-8 summit and today's developments in the aftermath of the London explosions.

"If, indeed, the terrorists succeed in their aim of distracting the intent of the G-8 summit, basically the whole world would suffer," she said. "What happens on the African continent does indeed impact the whole world."