Saturday, May 12, 2007


LAX after 9/11

A few days after 9/11, I was driving on the 405 South and a convoy of humvees and military transports was traveling in the lane next to me, probably on their way to Camp Pendleton. As they passed by, I could see the soldiers hanging out of open vehicles, all in camouflage gear. I honked my horn a few times and they all looked over at me and I just kept mouthing the words Thank You to them. Most of them nodded back or waved. I flashed the peace sign, which was probably inappropriate back then, but certainly prescient.

There’s a Mexican man in my neighborhood who has been collecting cans for years. He and I are on a stop-for-a-few-and-catch-up basis. About a week after 9/11 I saw him down the street, ahead of me. He was flying a big American flag from his supermarket cart filled with empties. I burst into tears.

I spent 14 years in New York City. I’d been to the World Trade Center many times and had eaten at Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top, twice. From the safety of my couch here in the Hollywood Hills I couldn’t fathom the depth of annihilation but I believed that we needed to invade Iraq. They had weapons of mass destruction. They were going to kill us all. I was in Florida 10 days after 9/11 and one of my friends there was marching and picketing against the invasion of Iraq and even though I didn’t say anything to her, I thought she was wrong.

Sorry Gail. You were right. I was wrong.

Maggie Lockridge, R.N., my impossibly gorgeous friend Micaela’s mother, has started a non-profit organization called Iraq Star. They offer free reconstructive surgery to wounded American soldiers returning from Iraq. They fly them, free of charge, to Beverly Hills and have some of the most brilliant Board Certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons available to work on these men and women. They are treated like a rock star and everything from food, hotel and post-operative care is provided at no cost to the veteran. I have linked them here and they are permanently on my sidebar. Contact your local newspapers, television shows and civic organizations about Iraq Star. Help me get the word out.

Please make a contribution to this fine organization so that these soldiers can heal and go on with their lives.

Because they have allowed us to go on with ours.

End of war chat.


  1. Anonymous12:14 PM

    I sent this link out to a bunch of people, this one should be read by everyone.


  2. Abeyta, you were in the car when I took this picture at LAX, remember?

  3. Anonymous12:56 PM

    I had forgotten that. I was in shock for awhile after the towers went down. All that time period now seems like a haze to me when I look back.


  4. That is a great charity. It is good that you posted this now, we need to never forget what happened on 9/11.

  5. surcie8:02 PM

    Wow, what an amazing charity. And from what I hear, the need is great.

  6. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Thank you for letting us know about this. Although Hawaii has a huge military presence, this is the first time I had heard of this charity. You can count on my donation.
    Martha Jane