Rick Lovell, Arizona

Editor’s Note: The letter below was written in 2001 and appears in the self-published book, Through Our Eyes: A Tapestry of Words and Images in Response to September 11. Printed and distributed in 2002, the book was the result of an independent, volunteer documentary project organized by a journalist and several friends. The author’s bio was written in 2002 and has not been updated.

Tempe, Arizona

Richard Larry Lovell will do anything, for anybody, at anytime. The kind-hearted 42-year-old was born in a small town in Wisconsin called Prairie du Sac. Today, the devoted parent of three lives with his wife, Julie, in Tempe, Arizona, where he works as a material manager at Honeywell. Hunting, fishing, camping and biking are a few of his favorite pastimes. On Sept. 11, Rick was getting ready for work when he heard about the attack. He wrote his essay Oct. 3.

My emotions of the morning of September 11, 2001, were many. There was denial, concern, pity, confusion, hate and grief. There was one emotion that really hit me on Saturday, September 15, 2001, and that was fear.

The fear I felt was real. It all happened in a matter of seconds. I needed to get some plumbing supplies from Home Depot. When I entered the store, there was a man that fit the description of a terrorist – olive colored skin, black hair and brown eyes. When our eyes met, the feeling of fear just ran though my body. My mind was painting a picture of this man being the next terrorist planning the next attack.

The fear I saw in him was even more real. The man was looking at me as if I was going to be the next American to make a statement by bringing harm to him and his young daughter, who had just ran up to hold his hand. The fear in my body left me as quick as it came.

The thing that keeps bothering me was the fear I thought I saw in this man. Is his fear twice of mine? He has the same terrorist threat as all America and the fear of one American wanting to make a statement.

Was FDR right?


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