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September 23, 2003

Standing vigil

This image of the Jefferson Memorial hints at how surreal the effects of the huricane must have been for people in its path. By the time Isabel reached Toronto we had some rain and high winds but it did not feel like much more than a storm on Lake Ontario. One of the peculiar lessons of the recent black-out was the capacity for the slightest details of life to be changed in a moment. I think for me the oddest was the realization pay-phones were not going to fill the gap as cell phones went off-line. Most pay-phones are computerized these days...

Of all the images of the hurricane this one of soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetary effected me the most. The men on duty were given permission to leave their post in the face of the hurricane. It was not an option.

"They told us that. But that's not what's going to happen," said Sgt. Christopher Holmes, standing vigil on overnight duty. "That's never an option for us. It went in one ear and right out the other."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 23, 2003 09:15 AM