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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Strikes Back: Children Still in Shock Over Terrorist Attacks

Aired October 11, 2001 - 06:57   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.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Most adults are still in shock over the terrorist attacks on the United States, so imagine how children must feel, and no one knows better than another child.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: You've got that right. And I've talked to my children about it, and that's exactly right.

Now, Jack Shea of our affiliate WJW in Cleveland, Ohio talked to some children about -- who are trying to reach out to military families who are involved in the war on terrorism -- check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make sure you make really pretty pictures, and you can write any kind of message that you want on them. Just remember they are going to the kids of the men and women that are fighting for our country right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't you draw another one? Excellent.

JACK SHEA, CNN AFFILIATE WJW REPORTER (voice-over): Nine-year- old Chrisessio Santiago (ph) and his fellow students at Cleveland's Valley View Elementary School are creating patriotic works of art with the help of their big brothers and sisters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what message are you going to write on the back of this one? (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

SHEA: The heartfelt cards will be sent to the children of sailors serving on board the U.S. aircraft carrier, Theodore Roosevelt, currently serving as a launching pad for the war on terrorism.

CRAIG CAROFF, VOLUNTEER: I think they're learning that there are other kids out there that are like them, and that they may -- these other kids may not have what they have. Their parents are gone right now.

SHEA: And what did you put on the back?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) do your best. Go (UNINTELLIGIBLE) go, win this war. SHEA: The kids at Valley View are being asked by their after- school mentors to put themselves in the shoes of a little boy or girl whose mother or father must serve in a dangerous war and then to reach out to those children with their pictures and words.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Well, I feel sad, because they miss their parents.

MATTHEW JOHNSON, VOLUNTEER: They see that there is other kids out there who care about them and who knows what is going on and who can kind of relate to them so that they feel like they're not alone all of the time.

SHEA: Through the ordeal of September 11, and the now specter of a war without boundaries or a logical conclusion, the big brothers and sisters are facing a tougher job than they signed up for. They must try to answer the most painful of all questions.

CHRISSY KOPP, VOLUNTEER: They just don't understand why someone would, you know, crash a plane intentionally and why they would harm themselves as well as other people. They don't really understand why these people wanted to hurt us or hurt them.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I hope it helps them so that they won't be too scared.

SHEA: Leave it to children to look past the uneasiness that now grips the world to find a way to put a smile on someone's face.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: This is my flag, and we put "God bless you all, love always, Carina Navarro (ph) and Shivon (ph)."

SHEA: Jack Shea, Fox 8 News in Cleveland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: And our thanks to Jack for that.

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