Local military responds with shock, resolve

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

The Natchez Democrat

Military men and women acrss the Miss-Lou reacted with shock,

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horror and resolve to Tuesday’s terrorist attacks.

Installations and National Guard Armories in and around Mississippi

and Louisiana locked gates, increased identification checks at

entry points and locked doors after terrorist attacks on the World

Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Sergeant 1st Class Mark Taylor, spokesperson for Company B

of the 155th Infantry Battalion, said the shocking news is a reminder

of how the nation should be prepared.

&uot;It’s devastating,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s something

you hear about in other countries, but never hear about them here.

That’s why you have to always be prepared.&uot;

Natchez’s Veterans Service Director Yvonne Robbins said the

&uot;horrific&uot; tragedy has hit &uot;close to home.&uot;

&uot;Just horror,&uot; she said of her reaction to the attack.

&uot;We’ve always managed to keep it off our shores. We’ve fought

them (terrorists) in Asia and Europe, but not on our shores. This

hits close to home.&uot;

Robbins said the U.S. must respond to the attacks, but isn’t

sure how.

&uot;I’m still in a state of shock,&uot; she said. &uot;I

don’t know what the country’s reaction should be, but I hope it’s


Parents of servicemen and women across the nation expressed

shock and concern over the situation.

&uot;I’m just stunned,&uot; said Natchez resident Katie Cage,

whose son, Army Pvt. George Sims, will complete Army basic training

on Friday. &uot;I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t

know if they’ll keep him or what. I’m just shocked.&uot;

Sims is on a five-day field training exercise, or FTX, he and

other recruits must finish before graduation from basic training

at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Cage had not heard from her son Tuesday


&uot;He’s been in the field all day today,&uot; she said.

&uot;He may call tonight, but I haven’t heard from him yet.&uot;

Natchez resident Alvin Shelby Sr. said he is deeply concerned

for the families who have children in the military. My heart goes

out to all the families,&uot; he said. &uot; … Especially

for the children who won’t have moms and dads to go home to, or

parents who have children in the military.&uot;