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CNN HOTLINE: Regular Peoples' Reactions to Attacks

Aired September 20, 2001 - 01:32   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: And you know, show business people are famous for turning out in times of crisis and lending a hand, so that ought to be quite an event. Speaking of Los Angeles, Paul Vercammen of our staff is standing by tonight in Universal City at Universal City Walk, Universal City, California. Paul, what's going on?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'll tell you what's going on Jack, look around here, perhaps, indicative of the fact that a lot of people just want to stay home. It's rather quiet except for the music that always blares here at Universal City. But, a lot of people are talking, of course, about what happened and how it might affect their lives.

There's a group of Cal State Los Angeles students from over here and they kind of represent a lot of different parts of America. First off, Heidi (ph), you're from New York. Tell us about this. What are your concerns right now? Do you fear that something like that attack could occur here in the second largest city in America?

HEIDI (ph): I feel the attacks are over with. I don't feel that they're going to occur again. I think that airport security -- I flew out here on Monday and what I went through at the airport, I don't think it's going to occur again. I think it was one attack and I think it's over. I think they were just trying to make a point, like saying we could hurt you guys, and I feel it's over basically, like, for the attacks.

VERCAMMEN: Let's talk to your friend John here. You're from Chula Vista, and of course, being near San Diego, the highest concentration of military bases in the United States. What's happening right now with people of your age, with your friends? Are they concerned? Are they enlisting?

JOHN: Well, actually right now a lot of my friends are getting enlisted and I mean my friends, they're like family to me. We're just like brothers. I care a lot about them. I just hope for the best for them in case they do have to go up there for any protection for America. But, I give my heart out to a lot of New York people. I wish them the best. So ...

VERCAMMEN: What about this real quick? A lot of talk about generation X and generation Y and has this generation had the opportunity yet to show what it can do? I mean there's been that stereotype of a slacker generation. Do you think you and your friends can step it up if need be?

JOHN: I think we can. I mean a lot of the older people, they've been through it. So, they can teach us pretty much what we need to know, and I think if it comes down to it, we could pick it up and take care of what needs to be done.

VERCAMMEN: OK, let's talk to Virginia. She's from Ukiah and as you pointed out, Ukiah, part of the north of San Francisco in the trees, there, a beautiful city. But, more people work in the Trade Towers than live in your entire town. Do you feel California might be vulnerable? Are you concerned possibly down the road that you might not be able to get a job getting out of college if the economy takes a sudden downturn?

VIRGINIA: That is one of my worries and it's logical to think that the east -- the west side will get attacked, but I don't think they'll attack the same way they did on the East Coast. I just think that they're going to catch us off guard, and I know that the airports are now, you know, tightening up their security, but as all crimes, the bad guys always get higher security. They always bypass that. It's just routine and they'll bypass the routine.

And I do think that the economy will go into a tiny recession, but you know, it'll get back. America is great like getting back on our feet. So ...

VERCAMMEN: Well, thank you for your views. There you have a smattering of opinions from here in California. I should also note Jack that we did talk to someone off camera here, Lisa, and she said in this climate that she's going to go out and buy stock, of course, looking at that dollar cost averaging and try to pile up as many shares as she can over the course of the next year and hopefully go on quite a ride after.

Now back to you Jack in New York.

CAFFERTY: Paul, thanks very much. Interesting stuff, hearing from America's young people. Paul Vercammen at Universal City Walk at Universal City, California.

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