Terrorism response: 'It opens your eyes right open'

A11: leo phillips

Hood River resident and decorated World War II veteran Leo Phillips returned Monday from a 10-day trip to Washington, D.C., and New York City. Phillips had been attending a reunion of 361st Regiment of the 91st Division of the U.S. Army and doing some sightseeing in the nation's capitol and in New York with his son and his family.

Phillips, 82, said he was shocked at the news of the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, especially since he was just there.

"We were a couple of miles from the Pentagon," Phillips said of his veterans' reunion, which ended Sunday. "We drove by it every day."

Phillips, who joined the army in 1943 and fought in Italy before being captured by the Germans in 1944 and held in a POW camp near Munich for the remainder of the war, said Tuesday morning's attacks brought back painful memories.

"It brings back memories of when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor," he said. "I never saw Pearl Harbor, but I've seen a lot of towns blown to bits. I went through a lot of bombing raids."

Phillips, who was wounded on several occasions during the war and still carries a bullet in his hip, feels some retaliation would be necessary -- "if they can ever find out who did it." But the veteran, who was unable to talk about his war experiences for 40 years, hopes it won't escalate into a war situation.

"I really feel bad," he said. "And I don't know if they'll ever know how many were killed in this deal. You can hardly walk around back there, there are so many people.

"It's really pitiful. It opens your eyes right open."

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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