SINGERS LAUNCH INTO A STAR-SPANGLED LANDING
Members of a Las Vegas Sweet Adelines musical group did all they could this week to inspire patriotism as their plane was landing at McCarran International Airport.
The female barbershop singers were on a Southwest Airlines flight, returning from an international Sweet Adelines convention in Portland, Ore. As the plane was about to land in Las Vegas, members of the local Celebrity City Chorus suddenly started singing the national anthem.
The moment was "electric." The plane made a sweeping arc across the city just as the setting sun produced a magnificent "red, white and blue" desert landscape out the windows. They ended the "Star-Spangled Banner" just moments before plane touched down. Passengers cheered. It was a unique experience for those on board.
One fellow passenger noted that it was great to hear the anthem sung "correctly," for a change.
(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
THE PLEDGE RETURNS TO MADISON
Students in Madison, Wis., can say the Pledge of Allegiance again. The school board has reversed a policy that critics said effectively banned it.
The vote in the early morning hours Tuesday capped an eight-hour meeting that often degenerated into name-calling. From now on, each school will decide whether to offer the Pledge of Allegiance or the national anthem during the school day.
An earlier resolution limited principals to an instrumental version of the "Star Spangled Banner" to fulfill a state law requiring either the singing of the anthem or the recitation of the pledge daily. Supporters had argued that a forced recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance stifled dissent.
ELECTRONIC LAST WORDS
Some of the families and friends of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are discovering their loved one's "electronic last words," reports the Washington Post.
Computer technicians for companies based in New York's World Trade Center buildings have been scouring data backup tapes to restore important information. In the process, they can't avoid mundane and off-the-cuff electronic communications by co-workers who perished in the attacks.
"To read their words and know they're not with us anymore ... it's been very difficult," said Dave Friedman, a systems analyst for Fred Alger Management Inc., a money-management firm.
The urge to preserve those kinds of electronic communications led phone company Verizon to announce it would make copies of voice-mail messages to anybody who wanted to preserve them.
Some victims' families have started online shrines at sites such as thewtcmemorial.com or newyorkworldtradecentermemorial.com, where they're posting e-mail and other messages that came right before the attacks.
(Thanks to UPI's Joe Warminsky in Washington)
REASONS TO CELEBRATE TODAY:
WEDNESDAY: Today is Black Poetry Day, which is observed on the anniversary of the birth, in 1711, of Jupiter Hammon, America's first published black poet.
And this is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, as declared by the United Nations.
(Thanks to Chase's 2001 Calendar of Events)
BY THE WAY...
He was called the "September pope." Why?
Pope John Paul I -- born Albino Luciani on this date in 1912 -- served only 34 days before dying Sept. 28, 1978. His papacy was the shortest since Pope Leo XI (Aug. 1-27, 1605).