50-something moms cycle across the US to raise 9/11 awareness 
By Victoria N. Alexander

Oct 21, 2012 

Riding 50 miles a day in all weather, sleeping in tents, sharing meals with strangers along the way, two women undertake an arduous journey as tribute to those who died or suffered loss on 9/11 and to all who have died or suffered loss on account of 9/11.
On July 25th, Rena Patty and her friend Pam Senzee set out from Washington State on their 4000-mile journeys. In Fargo, North Dakota, Patty took a rural route toward New York and Senzee took a more urban route toward Washington DC. They will arrive at their respective destinations at the end of October, but in some sense they have already achieved their goals. They have distributed information to police and fire stations, churches and to hundreds people they have met during their trips. They have started conversations in small towns. They have made friends. Most importantly, they have renewed their hope in America’s future by taking part in its recovery.

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/335078#ixzz2A8aJspRz
I’m just outside of Utica, NY, just to the west of the city.  A petition signer here has offered me a cottage, actually a very nice house, stocked with food.  I’m sitting in a very comfortable recliner as I write.  It Sunday morning, so I’m not riding my bicycle today, and to be completely honest, the 4000-mile ride is hard and I’m tired. I felt fatigued this morning walking up a flight of stairs!

I made slow progress across the Erie Canal route – riding on the gravel of the canal trail takes more physical power than riding on pavement. 

I began my day yesterday, after a peaceful home-cooked breakfast at the home of a cyclist who rode the northern tier bike route one month ahead of me, with Syracuse Peace Council members.  The Syracuse Peace Council is one of the oldest established peace organizations in the country.  We held signs protesting drone strikes as we talked about AE911Truth.  Three times in my conversations with people I met through the peace council, people said to me, “If what you are saying about the evidence and the reports is true, that’s scary.  It’s scary to think that the buildings were brought down, with people in them.”

I don’t think I’ve written about this in my blog yet.  But when I first started to talk with people in my community – the fire chief, the county prosecutor, the district court judge – about the evidence and the implication of the evidence, it terrified me.  In fact, it terrified me at such a deep level that it made my knees feel shaky for about three weeks – my knees literally felt like they were going to give out from under me.   (never before or since have I had this weak knee sensation.)  

From my Nonviolent Communications training, I am trained to attend to my emotions and make choices carefully in response to my needs.  At the time 
I thought, "If this is how people feel when they talk about 9/11, no wonder they don't talk about it."  This was back in November 2010…I remember exactly where I was, walking on the path between my chicken pen and my house, when I made the choice to feel this level of terror in my gut and my legs and to not succumb to it, but to claim my integrity and keep talking about 9/11.  What arose along side of the fear was self-respect.  Fortunately, the shaky knees symptom subsided after a few weeks.

Now, my knees just feel tired!  (If you were with me in person, you’d get my sense of humor.  It’s enough to bring tears to my eyes, this combination of tiredness and humor about the challenges I set for myself.)

From the eastern edge of Syracuse I rode the trail for the first twenty-five miles of the day.  It does take more physical strength to ride the trail, so it felt good to be riding that section early in the day.  Puddles spanned the trail in places, and the trail narrowed to an intermittently muddy track for parts of the last ten miles.  From Canastota I rode on Rt 5 to the outskirts of Utica.

Riding out of Canastota I delivered DVDs to three churches in a row.  The first, the Church of the Nazarene, nobody was around, so I left a DVD on the door.  At the second, I met two men and three boys – the boys said they were just having fun playing around with their Bible study books.  After giving a DVD to the men for the pastor, I invited them out to see my bike.  

The boys asked a completely different set of questions than questions from adults.  “How many stops did you make riding all the way across the country?’  “How can you ride with the bags hanging off the wheels?”  “Will you pull your tent out so we can see how big it is?”  And then the boys expressed sentiments exactly the same as people all across the country – the friendliness and care was almost startling for me spontaneously offered from these boys.  “If you can stay for a while, until my mom gets here, she’s bringing pizza and we’ll give you some.”  (I really wanted to stay and play for a while – I really like playing with kids – but it would have been getting dark by then.)  And as I was leaving a boys shouted his care for my wellbeing, “Be safe.”

At the third church, a pastor came out and listened with care to my explanation of the bike ride and the evidence.  He said he’s watch the DVD, and then recommended that I ride into Oneida to the police station – his son is an investigator there.  He said he thought that it was less than a mile into Oneida.

It felt like a bit more than two miles off my route into Oneida.  But I still had plenty of daylight so I was okay with that.  

My first stop was at the fire department.  The sign on the door said, “Our communities bravest walk through these doors.”  Four firefighters were right there inside the door.  I explained the bike ride and some of the evidence.  They listened to the evidence of molten metal.  I mentioned that NIST failed to carry forward the evidence of molten metal documented by FEMA and EPA.  

When I got to videos evidence of first responders, newscasters and people in the streets reporting sounds of explosions in the basements and lobbies, one of the firefighters walked out in agitation.  It felt somewhat like the way the detective in Dickenson walked out, like “I’m not listening to any more of this!”  But I also got a sense like the disturbed looks on the faces of the paramedics in Henry, IL.  It is disturbing and uncomfortable information – the implications are disturbing and uncomfortable.  

Another firefighter said he’d take a look at it.  And another called to a firefighter who was just coming in from a call, asked him to come and listen to what I had to say, but I could see that he was busy with work from the call, and I needed to keep moving so I left saying that I was going to the police station.  This was an awkward moments for me.

At the police station, I asked a patrol officer outside if he was the son of the pastor.  He wasn’t, but he offered to deliver the DVD to the investigator.  He also said he was aware of the forensic evidence and that he saw the validity of the concerns presented by the architects and engineers of AE911Truth. 

Just outside of Vernon, I met briefly with a petition signer and AE911Truth team member who is currently working on a FAX to all the police chiefs and county sheriff’s around the country.  He was watching for me and spotted me on the road as he was driving home from work.  He gave a friendly shout, “Hey! Are you one of those truthers?”   Most AE911Truth team volunteers have never met in person but work together by phone.  It’s challenging to work primarily by phone, and to squeeze volunteer work on this intense topic into busy work and personal lives.

For my day of rest this week, I joined a service at a Presbyterian church in Clinton.  After the service, I left a DVD with the pastor and with two church members.  The son of one of those church members was involved with the cleanup at the WTC site – she said she’d share the DVD with him.  In the afternoon, after some rest, I was invited to record two half-hour programs for a local cable access TV program.  On the way back to the cottage, we left a DVD with the New Hartford fire station, and I gave one to a New Hartford patrol officer siting in a car nearby.

This morning, Monday morning, I’m giving some DVD’s to a local resident to deliver to the New Hartford police chief and to give to the Utica fire and police departments.  I’m grateful for the shared effort – I’ve made so many of these stops personally that I’m happy to hand some of this work off to local residents.

I met a young couple in the morning that were tired and hungry.  They looked unsettled and worried.  I bought breakfast.

 


Comments

10/22/2012 12:14pm

Hi Rena, I'm feeling empathy for your uncomfortable time at the fire station. I could not do what you're doing and give you a lot of credit for your guts and fortitude. If you can let me know when (and where) you'll be arriving in NYC, I would like to invite some of my friends to welcome you there. I realize you may not know at this point. Sending Love, Shar

Reply
phil b.
10/22/2012 11:15pm

I continue to stand amazed...dumbfounded in some ways. Somehow single human beings rise to this level of physical and psychological challenge. Following your blog has, in many ways, been more meaningful to me than the reading of award-winning novels or articles in renowned journals. Your description of initially feeling the terror in the knees - finally someone has nailed the phenomenon. So right-on true! What is happening here on this journey is bigger-than-life, and yet the interactivity among townsfolk is so recognizable. We are all still digesting this deep mysterious event known as 9/11. I can't tell you how proud I am of you, Rena, and of our organization. It's 2:00am and I'm just shaking my head as if I read a chapter in the gospels that somehow, all these years, I just somehow missed. You amaze me.

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Chris Sarns
10/23/2012 1:23am

Rena,

I could not do what you are doing either. But I am doing what I can to help you. I know you don't like to be in a video but a video of you talking to a police chief or sheriff could be a learning tool and an inspiration for people like me who just might find the courage to do what you are doing if we could see how you do it.

Chris

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10/25/2012 3:58pm

Chris,

There is a video of Rena and Pam talking with the Assistant Fire Chief in Burlington, WA, on YouTube at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWuxOuGAPIo
that is a pretty good example of successful outreach.

Click on the arrow next to my name (above) on this post to go to the video directly.

Mark

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Marianna Maver
10/26/2012 8:20pm

Thank you so much for sharing how you felt when you first started talking about 9/11 -- so very, very important to us who wish to do the same but have received negative feedback about this for years from those close to us... strangers, strangely, may react differently than what we've come to expect. I got tears in my eyes reading that section of this entry... (Actually, not the first time since I've been following your trip that I've gotten teary-eyed, but certainly this entry resonated!!!) Will be celebrating your arrival tomorrow in the Big Apple!!!

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