<b>Preparedness and cautiousn ess now<br>sign of the times</b>

Just when the nation’s news seemed more upbeat, another airplane tragedy hit New York City — this time in the Rockaway area of Queens around 9 a.m. Monday.

As of the Williams-Grand Canyon News’ presstime Tuesday, details of this horrific event were still unfolding, but the News is confident once again America’s indomitable spirit will shine through.

If nothing else in the wake of tragedy, we all tend to get our priorities in check. Many of life’s aggravations recede to the background while home, hearth and heartfelt brotherhood take precedence.

Certainly the small hamlet of Williams seems a very comforting place to be these days — not likely to be hit by the catastrophic events plaguing the East Coast. Still, even here in Williams, we need to be a bit more wary.

In keeping with a theme of preparedness last Thursday, Gov. Jane Dee Hull met with several northern Arizona mayors and public officials at Flagstaff City Hall to update them on our state’s actions since the terrorist assault on Sept. 11.

“The attack on America was an attack on all mankind,” Hull said in a written statement she distributed at the meeting. “It has affected all of us.

“However, the response to this tragedy has shown the true spirit of America, which is joined by the true spirit of Arizona.”

Hull underscored how the state has responded to the terrorist onslaught.

“Our priorities are assistance to the victims and their families, assistance to the rescue efforts, state emergency preparedness and delivery of appropriate state services,” she said. “Our state agencies remain on high alert."

Preparedness, she said, is now essential.

“As in every state, we must be prepared for any further potential incidents, including the few deranged individuals who have maliciously and anonymously made bomb threats in various parts of our state,” Hull said. “It is vital that we join together to stop the hate crimes which have surfaced following the incident, including the death of a fellow Arizonan.”

She also cautioned that the Arizona Division of Emergency Management might be contacting counties, cities and towns to develop an inventory of supplies, which may be needed in the rescue efforts.

In closing, Hull included telephone numbers that area residents should find helpful, which are listed below.

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