From Skaters Around the World
September 12 2001 is the International Inline Skate Instructor Conference in Duluth Minnesota. Needless to say may skaters from around the world left for Minnesota USA and were immediately halted by Tuesday's terrorists attack. The following letters were sent in to the Inline Instructors email list from all over and I thought you might be interested in reading some of them.
Thanks David. That is what we need. Prayers. Then go and give
blood! We are having a hard time adjusting to a new skyline. City streets are still quiet
with few cabs and cars, but public transportation is coming up slowly. We are tough SOB's
and proud of our city. We will emerge stronger, in part just to show the cowards who did
this who is boss.
Due to the terrible tragedy that has befallen us I am not certain I will
be able to make it to the conference. As much as I have been looking forward
to going ...... I just dont know. As of now , my flight has been cancelled and
all airprots are closed.
Remarkably, there are reports that many people in MY city are
also flying American flags...which might not be all that remarkable - unless you consider
the fact that I live in Canada!
|I think I speak on behalf of all Europeans when I say I am really
shocked and stunned by the events in the U.S. this week. Not least on a personal
My cousin works as a trader in the WTC and but family haven't heard from him since Tuesday. He is still unaccounted for.
I am trying to get a tranatlatic flight over to Canada where his mother lives but it's not happenning at the moment. We are then off to New York, who knows when.
We are still hoping for the best and, under the circumstances, I think it's a good idea to continue with the Duluth conference for those that wish to go,
|I just received word from European ICP Director Norbert Demps that it looks
like all international passengers trying to get to their destinations in the US are returning home. Please check out http://gander.ipandmore.de for a
thank you to the community of Gander from some of the passengers diverted to
Kristine M. Simeone
|The Pegasus Flyers Inline Skate Club hope that each and everyone of you, and
your families, are surviving this horrific set of events. Our hearts and prayers are with
We felt that to alter our weekly skate would be giving the terrorists just what they wanted, but we came up with our own plan to honor those that had
Last nite we had approx 20 skaters that came out in red, white, and blue. We carried small American Flags in our helmets and hands, and were
lead/followed by the full size Old Glory. Our route was approximately 13 miles. Police saluted us as we passed, cars and BIG trucks honked, and
bystanders screamed their support.
Live to skate, SKATE TO LIVE!!!
Pegasus Flyers Inline Skate Club, Inc.
|Hi its Norbert Demps (Berti)
ICP Europe Director
I'm still stuck in Canda Gander and i don't know at all when and where I'm going. I'm rally sorry not to meet you all.
I'm staying in a school in a small twon and with me about 8000 user passanger from around the world.
We can do nothing and feel realy helpless.
But people in Gander try to help as much as they can never in my life I found so many nice and helpfool people It is imposible to find words for
what they are doing for us.
Thats why I build a website to say thank you www.thankstogander.de
help me to let the world know what happens on the other side where in Newtherland Canda are over 25000 passangers stuck. and private people take
care of them since thuesday no Goverment or Army just normal people cook for us bring us home for shower and try to make our stay in schools and hals as nice as it can be.
But we all want to go home to our families.
ICP Europe Director
|Here in New York, we are doing pretty well at trying to
get back to normal. Fortunately, it appears that all 70 members of our Skate Patrol are
present and accounted for, but we must pray for others less
fortunate. We continued shifts last weekend and the Skate School continues to operate. Conducting regular operations indicates that we can be shaken but never stopped.
Perhaps those who were not able to spend their money getting to and attending the conference could redirect those funds to the Red Cross. I am keeping my airline money with the airline to re-use the ticket later
and my conference fees with the ICP in the hopes they can schedule another conference in the future. Other funds were directed to the relief effort. Even here, 5 miles from ground Zero/ Ground Hero, it is
the best we can do. There is no more room downtown for volunteers, food, nor dry goods, but the cash is needed for other un-anticipated needs that may arise. Our other efforts include visiting with the local
fire houses in our home and work neighborhoods - these heroes are having a rough time of it.
Take care and thanks again to everybody.
New York, NY
The Strongest City in the World
one of the instructors that made it to the conference, I must say that our thoughts and
prayers were with those of you who did not make it. As a
group, we all attended the National Prayer ceremony at city hall in Duluth. It was a moving moment for all of us. I had a friend working in the Pentagon and one who was only 10 blocks away from the WTC, so it hit me pretty hard. I can only imagine what it was like for those of you who were in NYC.
A very bright moment of the weekend was the attendence of Guilbert Samir from Beirut, Lebanon. He made the trip from Newark New Jersey by bus. It
was amazing that he traveled across our country, knowing the prejudices against anyone of middle eastern descent in our country. Guilbert has a
love of skating and teaching that transcends all, and he was a wonderful presence for all of us. There was no animosity in either direction-- we were all together as one community- not prejudiced by the terrible things going on in the world around us. The thought that our government may bomb innocent people in his homeland infuriates me.
We had several Brazilians at the conference that contributed a lot as well. We truly had an international skating family there.
Although the conference was not the huge event we had hoped it would be, those of us that were there had some wonderful idea sharing and great
Mercury skate school
|DATE: September 13, 2001
Last night I went to bed after another grueling day of reports from New York and Washington. I had just heard that doctors and rescue workers morale
was low, that they were feeling so overwhelmed by the size of the disaster. I thought of the rescue workers looking at the depths of the rubble thinking
of the people who were underneath praying to be found. How helpless they must feel? Despite their training and technology, they could do nothing.
I just kept meditating on the word Hope--the hope that we all desperately hold on to when there is nothing else.
As for the Conference, I admit having felt for a moment a measure of indifference. In my years involved in inline skating, my job has often been referred to with envy from friends who cite how fortunate I am, as are
each of you, to work in what I love, to be involved in sport, in recreation, in fitness, in fun.... .
Yet within the light of the terrorist attack, I felt what I do to be so unimportant, so trivial within the big picture. I began to lose my grip on Hope.
As I awoke this morning, Hope would not retreat. I found that my am flight would again, not depart, that people would remain stranded, that it was not
just a dream...I began to think of all of you, both those in Duluth and those grounded. The dedication, time and planning that had gone into the Conference. I thought all of little Hopes that had been shattered, to have a fun weekend, to improve skills, to see old friends. I thought of our uncertain future. Yet, Hope still wouldn't let me go.
Then Hope reminded me of Faith. Faith is being sure of what we Hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Faith turned my head to the little Hopes that were replacing the shattered ones, I thought of Kris Simeone, packing up her family to drive through the
middle of the night to get to Duluth to serve you. I thought of Elby Cossette and his infectious joy --and his obedience to that gift which would be so badly needed in Duluth --his Hope to be able to bring some laughter.
I thought of Mike Rissman whose personal pains were set aside to commit to helping others. I saw the inline companies communicating to one another
about the safety of their competitors and the latest airline reports to find a way to get to the Duluth event. I saw the email avalanche of support from instructors and patrollers and club skaters around the world--I saw
the seeds of memorial skates being planted in several countries and a determination to keep moving. One Instructor reported that American flags were flying in his neighborhood---in Canada. Instructors have wrote in to support ICP Director Kris Simeone and the ICP financially to ensure it moves forward. Skates in RED, WHITE and BLUE--Skates for Relief, posted names NY
skate patrollers and instructors who are safe. Recent NSP NY Patrol Director Angus Campbell setting up a medical call center....it goes on and on....
Then I realized who I was dealing with....Skaters. Skaters who are messengers of Faith and Hope to people who want to..... of all things....learn to inline skate. The reasons are many, losing weight,
spending time with family, meeting people, getting in shape, releasing frustrations....but all with one silly solution--learning to inline skate.
As active instructors, I know that you are fueled by the joy you feel when you help someone reach their goal. To be that type of person, I know you are kind, you are patient, you care and are thoughtful and that you have a true desire to help.
So inline skating is not very important right now----but---its people are....You Are.
For those of you at the Conference and those of you, like me wishing you were please remember this:
We all must "be sure of what we Hope for and certain of what we do not see"..... and for that to happen we must all, in our own little ways work together to continue help fulfill little Hopes, yes even Hopes to learn to inline skate, so that we can be equipped with the Faith we need to hang on tightly to the big Hopes.
Stay Safe, Be Hopeful and Keep Rolling,
International Inline Skating Association
|Your note was well written and well received.
My wife, Sue Bream, and I could not attend the conference or the race, which we had
trained so hard
for. We understood and were accepting but were still quite disappointed. We quickly switched gears from what we could not do to what we could do and
the results were truly cathartic for all involved. We were involved in a "Car Free" celebration in one of our local neighborhoods where a couple of
blocks were closed to car traffic and the focal point of the event was dance skating and the music. People needed to be uplifted, they wanted to sway to
the rhythm. We also held a candlelight skate "in memoriam"at the local city park that we patrol in and even though the number of skaters participating
was low, the effect that it had on us and others was dramatic. To see a paceline of candles snaking through the dark, in unison with the meditative hum of bearings and wheel hubs was an experience that I was glad that I was part of. Our hearts have been drained and our senses numbed by the cruel tragedy inflicted on our fellow Americans. The overwhelming "what can I do" to remember , to heal to rise intact from the ashes. What we do is skate and that is what we did!
Director Seattle NSP