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PROBE: Sept. 14, 2001

September 14, 2001

QUESTION: The Mexican flag is flying at the top of the pole, showing no respect for our tragic loss as the result of the terrorist attacks. Mexico is our neighbor. It should show solidarity with us and lower its flag.

The British lowered their flags to half-staff. In Russia they set aside a little square where people brought flowers and candles in memory of people who died in the attacks.

They should cancel the Sept. 16 celebration of Mexican independence. — A Hispanic American, Calexico

Cool it. The Calexico Chamber of Commerce canceled its Mexican Independence Day celebration, as did the Hidalgo Society in Brawley.

"We didn't have anything to celebrate," said chamber Executive Director Hildy Carrillo-Rivera.

Lowering the flag to half-staff is a nice gesture, but that's all it is, an inexpensive gesture to recognize a loss.

There's no doubt in our mind Mexico is with the United States in this tragedy. President Vicente Fox notified Mexican consulates and embassies in the United States to cancel their independence celebrations.

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As Americans, we have to recognize we are angry now about the loss of American lives and the rupture of our sense of security. We would like to punch somebody in the nose. With our nerves on edge, we may see insult and disrespect where none was intended.

LOOKING FOR UTAH'S SHOES — I live in Holtville and I have known Utah Watson for years. When I read about his need for his brace, I decided to call PROBE.

My wife worked in P. Douglas Osborne's office. Her last paycheck bounced but she worked another three weeks. Osborne had to close due to financial problems he didn't create.

Osborne is living in Hemet. I have his home phone and his cell phone numbers. I hope this helps. — Utah's Friend, Holtville

Thank you for the phone numbers. We tried but we didn't reach Osborne. We couldn't leave a message because his voice mail doesn't accept messages unless you have the code. We didn't have the code but we'll keep trying.

Perhaps somebody with the code will let Osborne know we're trying to locate him so he can give Utah his brace and shoes, or someone give us his address so Utah can go up to Hemet and camp on Osborne's doorstep until he gets his brace.

A PLACE IN LINE — It was not a Pioneers Memorial Hospital employee who pushed ahead in line at the blood drive Wednesday. It was an FBI agent. Other people standing in line agreed he could move ahead. I certainly did. I wanted him to go out and catch the bad guys. I would have given him my place in line. — Donor, Brawley

This bone of contention may be an indication of how helpless we feel in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. About the only thing we can do is donate blood — and we're not going to put up with anybody pushing ahead of us in line to give their blood before they take ours. We think it means we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.

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