Condolences for Loss of Geographic Team on Flight 77

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I was one of the teachers in the first group to go through training at the Summer Geography Institute in 1986 at National Geographic. It was a wonderful experience. One of the nicest parts was meeting and being assisted by Ann Judge. After the Institute, she helped me make arrangements for my family to come to Washington to see and enjoy the city. She found an inexpensive hotel close to downtown that suited our family, she told me about places to see and things to do. She was a memorable person who after fifteen years I remember warmly because she took time for others. I can only tell you I am very sorry for your loss. My sincere sympathy,—Dick Painter, Salem, Oregon

Our condolences to the families and friends of all those who were killed in those criminal attacks.—Luis Ulzurrun & family, Valencia, Spain

Dear friends, As a subscriber of National Geographic magazine from Sevilla (Spain), I would like to sent my deepest feelings of sorrow for the killing of two staff members of NG and the students in the terrorist attack to the pentagon building. Please, send my condolence to the bereaved families. God bless all of you in this tragic moments of suffering.—Joaquin S. Lucena, Sevilla, España

Friends: During my years with the magazine Ann Judge was continually seeing to everyone's comfort, arranging and rearranging their odd migrations all over the world. She was unflaggingly energetic, unflappable, unfailingly kind and warm. How many times have distraught Geographic travelers called from a socked-in airport in East Overshoe, Nowhere, to have Ann reroute them? Often the real reason they called in is to hear her calm, cheerful voice and to establish reassuring contact with home. We were not alone in the field. She had a wonderfully open face, a great funnybone, and a good laugh. She was practical, clever, resourceful and generous with her skills.!We knew she was personally invested in our safety and comfort. She wanted us to come back healthy and full of stories. She should have come back just like that. A solemn list of Geographic explorers have not returned to their station. Surprisingly few, considering the risks they've run. We're now uncomfortably aware that the world we helped make smaller has become more violent, less predictable, less logical. This lack of logic is an especially keen blow to the Society which is, if anything, a monument to explaining the world in objective, sensible terms. The borders of a new wilderness are now quite close to 17th & M streets.…For me, it's some comfort to know that my friend Ann was—and is—on assignment.—Jan Adkins

To the NGS family: When I worked at NGS around twenty years ago, we rallied as a family to accept the tragic death of Bob Firestone. I remember vividly the day we found out of his accidental death, walking the silent halls and crying at his funeral. Ann was one of a circle of his gang who met at The Meeting Place. I now envision Ann and Bob seeing each other at The Meeting Place in heaven and hoping for peace in the world. I extend my sincere sympathy to NGS staffers and to Ann's and Joe's families.—Jan Rothman

I wrote this poem on September 11 to capture the intensity of the American spirit on that day and to help our nation cope with this tragedy. The extremely positive response from my family and friends leads me to believe all Americans may benefit from hearing and reading its words. I have done what I could. Please share it with our people. Thank you!Justin Tackett (age 16), Gibsonia, PA

For Americans We Are

dedicated to all Americans on this day
of tragedy, September 11, 2001)

They may threaten us and bully us,
And tell us all their lies.
They may set our people's nerve on edge,
With any plans they can devise.
They may assault and scatter us,
With terror from the skies,
But they cannot break our spirit
with what they do and say,
for now we're more Americans than on any other day.

It may come in form of fire.
It may come in loss of life.
It may come in hellish heaps of grief,
In hardships and in strife.
But may they know without a doubt,
That no gun, no bomb, no knife,
Could kill our love of liberty or our spirits slay,
For today this is more America than on any other day.

Our bones may now be broken,
Our bodies now lay stilled.
Our hearts may now lay emptied,
Torn with holes that once were filled.
Our lives may be disheveled,
Our blood be shed and spilled.
Our cities may be bombed and battered,
our buildings blown away,
But we were never more Americans than we are today.

This nation lies in ruins.
This country grieves a loss.
This world is still reverberating,
From this tempest-toss.
This tragedy aches so deep in us.
Our souls, the throes emboss.
But somehow we'll be triumphant,
emergent from the fray,
For Americans we are, and most of all today.

They say this day is history,
And soon history it shall be,
For the world is raging forward,
For our enemies to see,
That by staff and rod, so help us God,
We shall have our victory.
And may all men know without a doubt
that we are not destroyed by sorrow,
For Americans we are today
and will forever be tomorrow!

As a mum to a 9-year-old boy, and a committed environmentalist, I was so saddened by the events of 11 Sept. To read the passenger lists and realise that these kids and the teachers were embarking on a great adventure that was cut so short is so tragic. My condolences go out to everyone that knew them.—Ann Potter, Sunbury, Victoria, Australia

Dear Sirs, I'm a member of the National Geographic Society since 1999. I've just learned about the loss of the people from the NGS team. I'd like to express my deepest condolences. By the way don't know about you but I still keep asking myself how did this happened? I've heard a lot about the abilities of the NSA, read many books and magazines also saw lots of movies about the SEALs and the Delta Force and that's why for a while I was not able to believe all this happened. I have a question. Today I read in the local papers that there's a plan to rebuild the twin towers. Is that true? It will be fantastic if they do it. It will be a message to the fundamentalists that they can never defeat the civilized world. All the best,—Alexander Yanakiev, Bulgaria

I met Ann in July of 1996. I had the privilege of being graced with her presence on Project Marco Polo. I received the news yesterday and all I can say is the pain I feel over the loss of Ann is horrific. Because of Ann's wonderful work with National Geographic and her dedication to students around the world, I had the opportunity to participate in a unforgettable adventure of which I might not have been a part of if it had not been for Ann. The trip and the people on it have shaped me to be the person I am today and I will never forget them or the experiences we shared and this was all made possible with Ann's help. Thank you, Ann. I want to express my deepest sympathies and sorrows to anyone that is feeling the pain I am feeling right now, not just for Ann but for everyone that was involved in this horrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with you.—Ashley Martin, Aurora Colorado, Project Marco Polo 1996

It is with a heavy heart that I send my deepest sympathy on the great loss of Joe and Ann. They are very special people and they made a deep impact on my growth as an educator. Their loss is being felt by educators world wide. My thoughts and prayers are with their family and NGS and all the other families that have suffered a loss at this very sad time in our nation's history.—Mary Ellen Adlam, Florida TC

I would simply like to add my condolences to this list. I was privileged to have met Joe Ferguson when he came to New Mexico to do some work with the New Mexico Geographic Alliance to improve geography education for students. I was also a part of the Summer Institute for teachers in 1998. Being a part of the National Geographic training and receiving the benefits of an organization who under Joe Ferguson's leadership valued teachers and their contributions was a life-changing opportunity for me. He will be greatly missed. I also would like to add my condolences for the rest of the members of the party who were traveling to California to be a part of a very special educational opportunity. This was truly a horrific tragedy for these families.—Penne Wilson, NMGA

The death of Joe Ferguson put a face on the disasters of last Tuesday for me. I worked on the Performance Assessment Institute SGI with Joe in Steamboat Springs a couple years ago. We had dinner the night before the institute outside of the Denver Airport and I was immediately impressed by the humor and professional dedication that Joe shared. His commitment to geographic education was profound. The following February in D.C. the group met again, and Joe made a special effort to welcome the group to his home town. Reading the other letters of condolence leave me dazzled at the love and grief expressed for this man throughout the country and around the world. He died doing the work he lived for. Every time I open a National Geographic magazine I will remember Joe Ferguson, a great educator and a hero to me.—Mark Schoenbein

Dear National Geographic: I had not met either Joe Ferguson or Ann Judge, but I was going to. I am another one of the kids that was to accompany them at Santa Cruz Island. I was very excited about the project but saddened to hear of the sudden cancellation of the trip. My heart and my prayers go out to the families and people who lost loved ones. It was a very tragic event that so abruptly stopped our nation in its tracks. Sincerely,—Shauna Moses

As a long time subscriber to "The National Geographic" I wish to extend my condolences.—Andrew Gunter

Joe: New Mexico will miss you.—Tina Koranda, NMGA

During this time of sorrow, I would like to express my condolences for all the people of Flight 77. This truly is a senseless act of violence which has taken so many young life's. My heart goes out to National Geographic, family members, and friends who are copping with such a tremendous lost.—Nellie Mitchell, Heartbroken Mississippian

Dear members of GEP and loved ones of Joe and Ann, With my deepest sympathy I offer a few comments about the positive ways both Joe and Ann impacted my life as both a teacher and a humanitarian.

From the moment I met them in 1993, a passion was stirred.
They showed that Geography was more than a place in time.
Through a Workshop on Water, an Instructional Leadership Institute,
and being a TC at the next,
showed me duty unbound and a caring family so fine.

Joe took us all in and led us along,
Ann laughed with us and reassured us all the way.
As friends they showed us what could really be done,
with a mission and hard work, and a little time to play.

Their dedication to both their mission and to us,
was beyond amazing, it was so great.
16 – 20 hour days didn't phase them,
logistical problems never crazed them,
they knew in their hearts the sum of this weight.

Thousands of TCs
spreading geography education across the land,
Teaching teachers to teach teachers,
who lead children by the hand.

I'm so grieved but so proud
to have been a small part of the cadre
of Geo-evangelists touched by both Joe and Ann.

Their spirit lives in us all.
We are truly better people from what they have accomplished.
Their dedication to duty and love of us
as members of the NGS family will never be extinguished.

With love, Bert Milburn

God Bless America, our prayers go out to all the victims and their family and friends.—I>Robert Hooks, Derma, Mississippi

I have an 11-year-old daughter, Jennifer, who just started 6th grade in middle school. She is bright and very interested in science, just as I'm sure the 3 children making their way to Santa Barbara were. I know this program must have been a source of great excitement for these children and their families; a sense of pride must have filled their parents' hearts when learning their children were selected for this program. I myself would be thrilled to send my child off on such an adventure. Please let these children's families know that I am praying they will be able to withstand the pain they are feeling now. I wish I could hug them, and grieve with them. I hope the National Geographic Society will continue to provide interesting and exciting opportunities for children.—Nancy Peterson, San Diego, California

To the family and friends of Joe Ferguson, Although I have not seen Joe for ten years, and only met him once, I felt compelled to pass along my most humble condolences on hearing of his death. When I first moved to Washington in 1991, Joe was kind enough to meet with me at National Geographic and help me begin networking to find a job. I knew no one. My skills were limited. Joe gave me his time and encouragement. I never saw him again after that, but I still mourn his death. He was a kind person and I am sorry for his loss. With love—David Ropa, Madison, WI

Dear NGS, I feel great sorrow to learn that we have lost family in this terrible tragedy. My heartfelt prayers go out to our NGS family and the families of the children who were lost. May their families find some measure of peace by knowing that God had his angels holding their loved ones at that time. Sincerely—Wendy Drye, biology teacher

I have been a reader of this magazine all my life. I have every book that has ever been sent to me all in book bindings, my daughter now gets her subscription renewed every Christmas. This has always been a part of our lives. To each and everyone whom has lost their lives it is a terrible tragedy I feal as though I have lost someone in my family. The healing process will be awhile in the coming for us, but it will be there! Your family of workers have all my Thoughts & Prayers. May God go with each one of you. Thanks for all the years of knowledge.—Jane, Orlando, Fla.

I just read where young 11-year old students accompanied by their teachers were passengers on American Flight 77 for an educational trip to the Channel Islands sponsored by the National Geographic. We are truly saddened to read this and mourn their loss as we know you do. Please pass on our prayers & love to those parents & families of those who died. Regards—Tom & Vicki Williamson, Houston, Texas

All are in my prayers. I met Joe at NGS 4 years ago. May GOD bless America.—Deb Slone

My prayers are with you all, my heart just hurt for all of the families. When I was a child an elderly neighbor would give us the National Geographic and we would look through those books for hours. Now I'm a subscriber for my children, and we discover the world together. Your outreach program is spectacular… I am sure those children were very excited to take that trip. I will continue to pray for your staff and the departeds' families. May God bless us all.—Robyn Robinson

It will no doubt take a larger general to replace the "little general" Ann was. And Joe? He'd probably map where all these beautiful tributes came from on a world map and be pleased that so many countries would be represented. They were special to the world of geography and that world particularly will miss them.—June Hollis, Brandon High School, Mississippi

Our deepest sympathy to the families of Ann Judge, Joe Ferguson, James Debeuneure, Rodney Dickens, Sarah Clark, Asia Cottom, Hilda Taylor and Bernard Brown who were on a National Geographic trip to California. My family and friends in Hawaii had been praying for them and to the other lost lives during this recent tragedy. Although we do not know them, our hearts are affected and we will forever remember them in our prayers. Aloha and Hafadai—Joaquin and Diane Villagomez

I was very deeply shocked when I saw the two familiar faces gazing at me from my television. Before seeing the pictures, I did not really know anyone who had been touched by the tragedy. I knew Ann Judge, from the time that I worked in a Summer Workshop with the National Geographic. I think the workshop, and her collection of objects, stuck in my mind. I have been working all over the world, mostly in technology, but geography is a part and parcel of my work. She was the quiet strong hand behind the planning of group travel and projects. She not only planned the trips, she was there, and made sure the trip worked. I am sure that she and Joe were very happy in being able to provide a wonderful opportunity for the teachers and children who accompanied them on the trip. Joe and I worked together (I worked with him) in the Virginia Geographic Alliance. He was kind, considerate, academic, and ever knowledgeable. I am in tears, thinking about all the wonderful work he did, and of the kinds of insights he had…he would not give up on making a difference in the District of Columbia. He was tireless in wanting to make this work. I am so sorry to see my friends go in this way. But they had big hearts and were about doing God's work. They will be missed and there are those of us who will take up the mission. Sincerely—Bonnie Bracey, Washington, DC

hola gente y equipo de national geographic, por este medio deseo expresar mis mas sinceras condolencias a ustedes y a los familiares de estas personas. sigamos trabajando, en la lucha contra el terrorismo. Sinceramente—Jalil Martinez, Cancun, Mexico

It is unbelievable that such an evil and malicious act can be done on innocent citizens. I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to the people of USA, especially to the family and friends of the victims. We the citizens of Malaysia pray for you and your leaders for strength to help you thru' your grief.—Aruna Peters

Joe Ferguson was so VERY dear to me. My first-grade classroom is filled with treasured memories of Joe. He loved children. Joe learned and addressed EVERY child by name within the first hour of his visits. He loved listening to and encouraging the young readers, loved coloring in their Reader's Workshop book charts, loved publishing their Writer's Workshop stories. Joe always asked me, "Are we going to do Writer's Workshop today?" Joe was the BEST storyteller I've ever met. When Joe shared his travel adventure stories with the spellbound kids, they always asked him to "tell us again!" Joe loved sitting on the floor and on those short classroom chairs, it brought him closer to the children. They always climbed on his lap, hugged him tight, asked Joe the most outrageous questions and shared their special thoughts with him. Joe loved his mama, was devoted to her, and talked with the children about loving their families. Joe loved children's work. He hung their first-grade world map drawings on his office door and wrote the young geographers to thank them and tell them that he looked at their map drawings every day. Joe's Winston the dog stories endlessly amused the kids. The first graders always asked, "When is Mr. Ferguson coming to visit us again?" What shall I tell them? I'll tell them about my loyal and trusted friend, my friend who would call and how we'd laugh and talk for hours, my friend who flew up to Boston on my 40th birthday with cupcakes and juice to celebrate together with the children, my friend who was a champion for education—the extraordinary teacher of teachers and children. I'll tell my young, impressionable first graders that Mr. Ferguson will always be with us, his bright light, his keen intellect, his love of learning, his inspired wisdom. I'll tell the children that Joe lives on in all of us who strive to do our personal best to make the world a better place. My thoughts and prayers are with our worldwide NGS family—colleagues, teachers, students, families and friends—mourning the passing of our beloved Joe Ferguson, Ann Judge and all of the victims. Let's join together, comfort and support one another, and pray for Joe, Ann and world peace. With love—Donna LaRoche, SGI '89

How can one express to Joe and Ann's loved ones the sympathy of such an incredibly deep loss? I don't think there is a way, but by sharing happy moments of their lives, hopefully giving them some type of comfort. I have known Joe since attending the Summer Geography Institute in 1993. However, I got to know him much better after attending the 1999 ALA. He is a very dedicated, sincere, and fun-loving person. As has been mentioned before, he would always be in the middle of group, adding such life and laugher to the conversation. I can still see him dancing away at our farewell picnic at the farm. He passionately lived life. That, in itself, is a lesson for all of us. Joe and Ann have touched so many lives! Our world, and the effectiveness of the Geographic Education Department, would not have been the same without these extraordinary people. If each one of us can touch at lease half the lives that Joe and Ann have touched, this world will be a better place. May we dedicate this year to Joe and Ann as we carry on their torch, spreading geographic knowledge to all people. May God bless their family and friends and provide us all comfort in this incredible loss. God Bless America and us all—Leah Bug-Townsend, Idaho Alliance of Geographers

My family and I are grieving tremendously here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. After reading about each of the adults and the children, I cannot feel but overwhelming despair and anguish. I have a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old. I cannot imagine how it would be to feel a loss as you have. My deepest regards and sympathy go out to all of you and their families left behind. With deepest regrets—Frances, Corey & Scott Scardino

Dear National Geographic Team: My words are simple as I could never possible communicate any thing that brings ease to the pain that you all are feeling during this time. However, at this time I would like to extend my prayers to the families of your team who have suffered great loss, and also to colleagues of the NGS. I would also like to thank you for issuing the help for parents and teachers to assist us in helping our children to comprehend and to deal with their own feelings at this time. As a parent of three, I value your consideration and care for the children and will use the advice that you have given to help my children face this emotional time. Thank you to you all and may God who brings Peace beyond all understanding sustain you and comfort you all during this time. With regards—Mrs. Lara Shipperlee

I am a computer technician and retired Air Force Master Sergeant in Lebanon, Pensylvania. In an effort to try to understand the very personal tragedies that are the center of this horrible terrorist attack on our land, I found myself looking at all of the many names of those that were lost in the Pentagon and on the aircraft that carried so many innocent victims to their death. When I saw a series of names of teachers and students who were obviously paired for some wonderful, adventurous field trip, my curiosity was aroused—but at the same time offset by my sadness at the loss of these young students and their dedicated teacher. When I saw that staff members of the National Geographic Society were also listed on the flight, I was sure that the Society must be involved in some program that was intended to open up a world of science and exploration to these students and teachers. A few seconds at National Geography's Web site (which I had never visited) answered my curiosity and filled me with sadness at the loss of two wonderful Society staff members and the students and teachers who had joined them. On a personal level, I spend much of my time with my six-year-old granddaughter, taking her on our own personal "field trips" to accomplish, in my own small way, the same kinds of goals that are certainly a part of what these wonderful teachers and National Geographic Society staff members must have loved to do when working with young students. I know the joy of watching young children as they discover new knowledge and adventures, and I am angered beyond words that this wonderful adventure with this group of adults and young people was so tragically cut short by the worst kind of evil that had invaded their lives. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones who have lost so much. It seems that all I can do is contribute to the National Geographic Society program in their names, to respect and honor both them and the wonderful work that was being accomplished here. May God bless you and comfort you.—Brad Bodie

I are deeply sorry for the loss of Ann and Joe, and all the victims and families of these terrible atrocity. Please my sincere condolences. Sincerely—Jaime Pou, Student, Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, España

As I sit here trying to arrange flights to go to Joe's memorial, I read the letters pouring in from around the globe and am amazed at the difference one person can have in so many lives. As educators, we get bombarded by the media with all of the negative elements of our jobs, but in reading this I am refreshed to know that my chosen profession does, as Joe's did, change life forever. Joe was my friend, as a southern boy who had the same passion for the University of Texas (where he got his bachelor's) as I did. After every exchange of e-mails we ended with Hook 'Em Horns. I will miss you, Joe—Shanna Lippiatt Hurt, Littleton, Colorado

When the sun begins its journey to or from the horizon, we will think of your love and our hearts will rise and rest in your laughter. I know Hilda, Joe and Ann were teachers and guardians to the end. Our heart-filled sorrow goes out to your families and friends. They must have needed some angels in heaven on September 11th but you will all be missed here on Earth.—Elly and Cindy, Team JASON Trainer

As a human being and a United States citizen, I am grieving for everyone involved in this tragedy. As a teacher and a mother, I feel especially saddened over the deaths of the children. I would like to express my condolences to the families of the children that were aboard Flight 77. What else can I say.—Cathy

I am a member of the Colorado Geographic Alliance and have known these two wonderful people since 1989. They actually were the Society to me. They were the first people I really met at NGS. As I attended the SGI that summer my respect and my admiration for them grew. Since then my friendship with them grew too. Joe and I had much in common, and we talked about many different things often. I will treasure that friendship and the times we just hung out together. Joe was kind, very intelligent and willing to do anything to help. I admired his ability to see the bigger picture and to talk about that view. I was on his staff at the Performance Assessment Institute in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1999. We got to know much about each other. I had the extraordinary pleasure of knowing Ann on Project Marco Polo in the Summer of 1986. We had wine. Saw Italy. She promised we would love Sicily. She was right. She was a shining star and little dynamo. She was kind and caring and generous. She had great spirit and great respect for all people. She beamed as our group was welcomed by the people of a small village in Calabria. She took great pride in the meeting of these two groups of people—the Italian villagers and the Americans. I picture her smile at that moment as the rain was ending and the villagers played the Star Spangled Banner with an American flag. Poignant. The first thing I did after I cried upon hearing of the death of Joe and Ann was to look at the pictures I have of them. I have a great picture of Joe and I at a barbeque in Steamboat Springs and of Ann and I at Pompeii. I will treasure those pictures. I will treasure my friendship with them. I will miss them. Godspeed Joe. Godspeed Ann.—Richard (Keith) Lucero

I was shocked to learn that student-teacher teams and NatGeo staff members had been on Flight 77. Imagining how joyful this trip must have started and how sadly it ended makes me truly sad. I want to this opportunity to give my condolences to the families of those killed in the attack and to the coworkers of the NatGeo staff members.—Carsten Bockermann, Bonn, Germany

To the staff at NGS, I have been a reader of NGS for many years, and have admired the quality of the articles from the staff involved, and the news this week of the dreadful tragedy in New York has upset me greatly I feel our wonderful world will never be the same again, and now I hear that some of your staff have been lost in these terrorist attacks. Words are never enough to describe what has happened. To all at National Geographic and to their families I send my deepest sympathy. To those we have lost and to the families and staff at NGS may god bless you all.—John Fish, Taunton, Somerset, England

Please convey my condolences to the families of Joe and Ann. Thank them for sharing their loved ones with teachers all over the country who have learned so much through the Alliances, and appreciated all the help they have received. Sincerely—Melissa Alexander, NMGA member

Over the years I have had the pleasure and privilege to work with Joe at educational conventions. He was always professional, caring and fun. The educational community has lost a friend and we have lost a colleague. Joe will be missed but not forgotten. Along the way it is nice to know that you meet good people. Joe was good people.—Bob Anderman, Discovery Channel School

What happened in New York and Washington has been incredible and dreadful. The only thing I can do is to pray for the innocent victims, for the brave cops and firemen and for their families.—Alessandro Barbarini, Parma, Italy

Dear Friends, Please permit me to extend my sympathy. I knew Anne and Joe from NGS WOW 1994. I looked up some photos from that trip last night and found one of Anne at Mt. Hood and the other is of Bob Dulli at Mt. St. Helen's.—Bet Scoopmire, North Carolina, NGS WOW 1994, AP Geography 1997, GIS San Marcos 1998

Though I am a Chinese, I still felt shock and angry when I heard the terrorist attack because this attack is against the whole world indeed. The loss of Joe or Ann, who were wonderful people I think, is a great tragedy of our National Geographic Society and the American and our world. Please extend my condolence to their families and to the all those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy. I know words do little comfort at this time of great loss. I am sure that God will be with your loved ones and the bads will be punished one day. God bless American and its iron people.—Xia Hanguang

Please convey my condolences to the family, friends and coworkers of Joe and Ann. As a 6th grade geography teacher, I know the difference they make in lives of children. My thoughts are with you. As a 6th-grade teacher, my students have discussed the need to do something because of this tragedy. It is very therapeutic to them to be proactive with helping the healing process. When I told them about the three teachers, they wanted to write letters to the students of these teachers. Is there any way that I might obtain a school address of teachers so that my students may send them their thoughts! Thank you for all that you have done!—Dana Miller, Dickson, TN

Dear American people, From the city of Barcelona I would like to send my sincere condolences for the families of the victims and for all American people. It has been an attack to our values, our democracy, our way of life, our freedom to all these principles that we work every day. We share your sorrow and we are on your side. Best regards—Pedro de Antonio, Subscriber 186572053

I wish there was a way to say thanks to Joe and Ann for all they have done to enhance my life and professional career. Such good friends whose legacy will endure. So, the only way I know how to say thanks is—Thanks, Joe and Ann. You've made me a better person and teacher.—Fred Walk

I'm praying for them.—Jeanne Faes

As a former member of the Geography Education Project team and a person who has kept alive his ties to the program even after being away from the Society for more than eight years, I was dumbstruck to have gotten the awful news from another former staffer. I have many friends who work in the financial business and live in New York, so when I saw the news I felt sure that I would know someone among the victims. It never occurred to me that my fears would be realized in Washington and not New York. I, too, have wonderful memories of the years I spent working with Joe and Ann. Those memories have come back to me in a torrent over the past few days, and I am saddened and angered by the cold slap of senseless loss. It was my privilege to have known and worked closely with both Joe and Ann. I am a better person for having had the experience. In the best "feel good" movie of all time, "It's A Wonderful Life," the message is that if, in your lifetime, you positively impact the life of just on other person, then you have made the world a better place. Joe and Ann had a positive impact on thousands of people and thus will live in our hearts forever. God bless you both.—Seward Totty

My friend sent me this beautiful poem [by Edna St. Vincent Millay]; I think it expresses all of our sentiments exactly. My father was a friend of Ann Judge's and describes as just the most humorous, wonderful person you could imagine. I work in the travel industry, and so the pain is too close to home on both fronts. Our deepest sympathies in your time of sorrow. In sympathy and sorrow—Liz McQuinn

Dirge Without Music

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains—but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

The first person I talked to at NGS was Ann Judge in the spring of 1988. I was coming to Washington for the Summer Geographic Institute and she needed information. She was extremely friendly and gracious. The second person I had contact with was Joe. He was so young but so professional. I took the picture of our SGI group down from my office wall on Wednesday to dust it off and to look again at his face. He was kneeling in the front of the picture and that was appropriate. He was always pushing the envelope in ways to promote geography in our nation's classrooms. He and Ann became good friends of mine and I am glad I had a chance to see Ann in Washington in May and July when I was at functions at NGS. I also saw Joe at our summer NBPTS seminar and also in Vancouver. That last encounter is how I want to remember him—complaining about the weather he had just left in Alaska but enthusiastic about what had happened at the workshop he had attended. Both of them had a joy for living and adventure. My prayers go out to Joe's family and Winston (his dog) and to Ann's husband, Geoff. Both of them have touched so many lives—they will always be remembered by those who were privileged to know them. Those of us who will visit the NGS headquarters in the future will always look for them "under the stars."—Beth Kirk-Kent, Miami, FL

I got to know Joe as a member of the 2000-01 National Board-National Geographic Society-NCSS pilot program. Joe was an inspiration to me and all other other teachers involved in the pilot. I am shocked and very, very, sad to hear of his death. He contributed so much. I do not understand why he—or anyone I suppose—was taken from us.—Chris Monte, Oxford, NC I knew Joe through my brother. He was a very thoughtful, loving and caring person. His smile could be seen from a mile away. His memory will not fade. My thoughts and prayers are with this Mother as well as my deepest condolence.—Gina Medley

Please accept my most sincerest & heartfelt condolences on the death of my friend Joe Ferguson. I first met Joe during my stay in D.C. for the 1995 Urban Institute. Joe then selected me as staff for Urban '96 and then again for Urban Summit '97. Joe was one of the kindest, caring, fun, extremely organized and professional I have ever met. His love for Geography Education, teachers, the alliances, and the Society was contagious, genuine and passionate. I will never forget him! The experiences I had because of him will allow me to continue to spread the word of Geography. I do this to honor his memory and his love for Geography Education. I will miss my friend, Joe!—Cindy Regius, Gonsalves Elementary School, Cerritos, California, Geography Teacher Consultant: trained at NGS Urban '95, staff Urban '96, Urban '97 Summit

I have always had the greatest respect for all those people who make the Geographic what it is, and enable it to maintain the high standards it has set for itself. I am sorry to learn of the death of some of that elite group of people. My heartfelt sympathies, and the wish that their families know peace in the realization that they have known and loved those wonderful people.—Dhar Amrita

My heart cries for a world forever changed, for the tremendous loss suffered by so many in the sad and angry aftermath of the heinous and horrific attack of Tuesday. Please extend my condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of NGS's Ann Judge and Joe Ferguson, as well as those of the teachers and students who accompanied them on their fatal flight. The world will not forget. May their memory be an inspiration to others in the pursuit of education, understanding, and peace among all peoples, races, and creeds around the world.—Susan Pierres

What a tragic loss to the Society and to teachers/students worldwide. I had the pleasure of working with Joe at ILI in'94 and he was always a teacher advocate for geographic education. He was also a member of the Texas family alliance and will be sorely missed. Ann was with us in '97 for Project Marco Polo. What an extraordinary women and she had many tales to tell from her travels. I can't tell you how sorry I am to see two lives cut short in their prime. May God bless them and you and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.—Linda Hammon, New Braunfels, Texas

To the President and Staff of the National Geographic Society: It was with great sadness, horror and disbelief that we watched events on the East coast of the United States unfolding on our television screens last Tuesday evening. Our sorry was increased when we saw the story in Saturday's London Times and discovered that American airlines Flight 77 was carrying two of your staff and teachers and pupils from three schools in Washington, D.C. We would wish you to pass on our deepest sympathy to your staff and those related to them, as well as to the staff, teachers, pupils and parents of the three schools in Washington. This is especially sad in that it was to have been a celebration of success in geography and the opportunity of a lifetime for those students and teachers. We appreciate the shock that this must have brought to your organisation too. Our thoughts are with all of you at this difficult time. Yours sincerely—Jeremy Krause, President; Peter S. Fox, Acting Chief Executive; Julia Legg, Curriculum and Events Team, Geographical Association, Sheffield, England

Messages Received Friday, September 14:

Loss of life—under any circumstances—is invariably difficult to bear. But this insane orgy of death, destruction and devastation leaves one gasping for words. As a long-time reader and admirer of NGS and all the wonderful people who make it happen, please convey my heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families of Joe and Ann. May God Rest their Souls in Peace.—Vic Pandya, Rajkot, Gujarat, India

I never knew Joe or Ann but I wish I had. I have no doubt that they were wonderful people and would like to extend my sincere condolences to their families and the families of all those who lost loved ones. I realise that my words are of little comfort at a time of great loss but my thought are with you all.—Mark McGurnaghan, Northern Ireland

Please convey my sincere condolences to the family, friends and fellow staff at NGS for the tragic deaths of Ann Judge and Joe Ferguson. I know they will be sorely missed, but that their spirit will forever shine on in the fine work of the NGS. God Bless Ann and Joe—and God Bless America.—Desmond Browne

To the families of the school children, the teachers and staff of National Geographic, please know that all are in my prayers. The burden feels so heavy. I have always prayed for my friends and family in times of sorrow. In the past few days, I have found myself praying for an entire nation. It seems so overwhelming, but in my heart, I know that only God can ease the pain in our hearts. We will get through this! God bless America. Sincerely—Linda L. Simpson

I would like to express my sincere and deep sympathy to Joe's and Ann's families. As an NGS Instructional Leadership Institute graduate in 1994, I knew Joe Ferguson and had the privilege to share professional experiences with him. He was really a great and fine human being. Our prayers go out for Joe's and Ann's families.—Yanil Barbosa, Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Allow to extend my deepest sympathy over the loss of Joe and Ann. I not only had the opportunity to work with Joe in Washington but also at conferences here in Texas. They are in my thoughts and prayers.—Debora Bittner, San Antonio, Texas

My deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Joe and Ann and those teachers and students who traveled on the ill-fated flight. It is difficult to express the overwhelming feeling of inadequacy and sadness at a time like this, but I'm trying to find strength in all that they both shared with those of us involved with geography education. I first met Ann in 1992 when she helped me get from Kodiak, Alaska, to Atlanta and back in one piece, and again when she got me to D.C. in 1999 when I also met Joe at the Leadership institute at NGS. They were an inspiration and the biography on the news page at NGS is very fitting. Thank you for sharing that information with the world.—Laurene Madsen, Kodiak, member of the Alaska Geographic Alliance

I am a teacher consultant with Alliance of Idaho Geographers. This past July, I had the opportunity to meet Joe and Ann during the NGS-NCSS-NBPTS seminar. They were both so kind and so supportive of the teachers and it was with great sorrow that I learned of their death. They will both be missed very much.—Theresa Silvester, Twin Falls, Idaho

One of the saddest facts of life is that creatures who are loved the very most can be simply snatched away. On September 11th, Ann Judge left us, and a big, irreplaceable piece of us all went with her. Ann spent quite a few years working with me and the Navy on a program called Project Marco Polo. If you knew Ann, visualize her taking on the United States Navy…and you may have the picture. Ann was our encyclopedic source of world facts and contacts, our on-board check of what the Navy considers reality, our tireless co-worker, friend, lover of practical jokes—in short, an irreplaceable part of Project Marco Polo. Not a day went by when she was aboard our ships that she did not levy upon us a well-aimed barb at something or other, or simply give us a hefty, healthy dose of her worldly perspective—and what a perspective that was! We all became life-long members of her fan club. This loss is great; the pain is real; the grief is acute. None of this can be dispelled, but there is something.…Astronomers now know that there are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth long after they themselves are extinguished. And, there are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they themselves are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. We will remember Ann Judge when we look up at the stars.—Gail S. Cleere, Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA

I would like to express my sympathies in the deaths of the teachers and children associated with the National Geographic Society. Let us (I am in science education myself, both as a student and as a teacher) remember them through our efforts to educate others.Yours—Allen Smith

What an indelible impression both of these wonderful people have made on my life! My prayers go out to their families, as well as those of the three teachers and students that were to embark on such a wonderful an opportunity. Let us remember the great joy, encouragement and zest these fabulous lives shared with us.—Debbie Mongiardo, NJ TC

My deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Joe Ferguson, Ann Judge, Hilda Taylor, Bernard Brown, James Debeuneure, Rodney Dickens, Sarah Clark, and Asia Cottom. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless.—Cindi Colbert

It is with heartfelt sadness that I offer condolences to the family and friends of Joe and Ann. As a participant in SGI in Washington during the summer of '91, and the Workshop on Water in California in '93, I have very fond memories of both of these wonderful people. In fact, I searched and found a photo of the two of them aboard a cruise liner sailing around the San Francisco harbor. Their memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all who had the honor of knowing them.—Eddi Porter, Innovation Champion, British Petroleum

My heart is heavy for everyone at NGS, particularly for friends and former colleagues in the Geography Education Program and Travel Office. Joe and Ann exemplified the best of those committed to making our world a better place—through education, through cultural awareness, and through a greater understanding of peoples and places. Their spirits are in good hands and they are traveling in God's hands. My condolences to all.—Dori Jacobson, Wilmington, DE

Dear Friends at National Geographic: It is a with a heavy heart and great sadness that I express my deepest sympathy to you and the families of Ann and Joe and also the families of the teachers and their students. I am a teacher consultant from Connecticut and SGI 1989. I have worked with Joe and met him at conferences since that time. These outstanding people will be greatly missed as they were admired and respected by all. May all of you at NGS know that my thoughts and prayers are with you as we all grieve this horrific national tragedy.—Sheila Spellacy

Joe Ferguson and I were graduate students in the Geography Dept. at Ohio University, graduating with our Masters degrees the same time in 1987. And I still have our Geography Dept. softball team photograph, including Joe and myself. I remember Joe as a guy who always seemed to be in a good mood, no matter what. And a proud son of Mississippi, surrounded by a bunch of Yankees in Ohio! I hadn't seen or talked to Joe since college days, but I still feel today like I've lost an old buddy. My condolences to Joe's family and friends.—Brian McNamara, Cleveland, Ohio

They were part of a great team and will be missed.—Jan Foregger

I was with Joe in Hawaii last summer in conjunction with the JASON Proj. I met Ann only on the last day when she came to make sure we all made our flights home. When my pastor told me that several NGS/JASON Proj. people were on the Dulles flight, I was in shock. I then logged on to NGS Web site to find out who it was. This catastrophe has now become very personal to me. My prayers are with the entire NGS/JASON family & the families of the teachers & students. I am a 6th grade Sci. teacher.—Marilyn Quinn, HI Inst. 2000

The horrific events of September 11, 2001, have made a profound impression on us collectively as a nation, but also personally and professionally. These events have threatened to endanger our traditional sources of meaning, energy, and achievement in the United States. Historically, Americans have found meaning in work, family, community, and shared faith. We have always drawn upon collective resources to do what we could not do alone. Let us not forget that such tragic events have traditionally served to strengthen, not sever, our idealism, unity, and commitment to democracy. While we mourn nationally, we also mourn personally. One of our members, Joe Ferguson and his colleague from the National Geographic Society, Ann Judge, leading a study trip with three teachers and three students to California, were on the American Airlines flight that collided into the Pentagon. As we learn more about the victims, we keep in our thoughts and prayers all who have been personally affected by the tragedy. But however we grieve, we can begin to look on the events of September 11 as a significant opportunity to touch and improve the future. As social studies educators, we need to reinforce the ideals of tolerance, equity, and social justice against a backlash of antidemocratic sentiments and hostile divisions. Such a task is neither easy nor clear-cut, but as teachers, it is a challenge we find every day in our classrooms. In the wake of such loss, devastation, and confusion, we owe it to our students to rise to that challenge again. (Joe would have wanted us to do this.) (I will miss Joe and Ann tremendously, but I will always remember them. This is not only a loss to geographic education, but to the entire community of educators.)—Adrian Davis, President, National Council for the Social Studies

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the families of the children and teachers as well as the members of the National Geographic who were killed on Flight 77. I work at a school in Oxnard. One of our vice principals was to attend the excursion with these students and teachers. We were all completely devastated to learn about this tragedy. Please accept my condolences.—[no name given]

Joe was one unique individual many came to know and admire. I had initial pleasure during the '90 ILI. He offered exuberance and true friendship to many teachers who passed his way. I was blessed to be able to call him friend. Good times, loving memories, and wonderful professionalism—he offered me so much while wanting so little…even though he couldn't dance, we did so enjoy you! Ann was our heroine on Project Marco Polo III as she arranged our "release" from the "bus seige" at Suez when we finally got to board the USS Chauvenet to traverse the Suez Canal. Did she really bribe those harbor officials? She always made travel for NGS and its people her priority, just as she did on one last trip. No one can ever doubt her loyalty—but that outstanding wit was what got us every time! To the NGS family—Ann's, Joe's, the DC students' and teachers' families especially—our heartfelt sympathy. Being a teacher consultant with the NC Geographic Alliance and trained in that remarkable golden rectangle has made our lives unbelievable, but the loss of such wonderful individuals also leaves us hollow. Thank you, Ann and Joe, for being such a special part of our lives—special angels watch over us.— Margaret Parrish, Raleigh, NC

I met Joe and Ann on last year's SSE program. I just wanted to let you know that they will be missed. Actually, Ms. Hilda E. Taylor took me. There is nothing else that I can say but my prayers.—Brittney Vail

My sadness seems to grow every day. Losing Joe and Ann leaves an unhealable hole in my heart. It is fitting that they were with students and teachers doing what they did best when their name was called, I am sure they will continue to "spread the word" in heaven.—Cherie Vela, California Geographic Alliance

Joe touched many lives and I recall his warmth and humor while we attended Ohio University for Graduate School. His interest in the enhancing geographic education is to be commended. I too have the picture of Joe on the softball team, we really were not that good but we had a lot of fun. He was a proud man from the south with a strong sense of who he was. He will be surely missed.—Tony Lafferty, ESRI-California Region, Rocklin, CA

I'm deeply shaken beyond comprehension with the untimely death of Joe. In the summer of 1995 I was fortunate to be selected to travel to Washington, D.C., to be a part of National Geographic's program for urban educators. Meeting and working with Joe was one of highlights of my professional career. It was obvious that Joe had a deep commitment to bringing geography to the children of America. His professional attitude was outstanding. I was also very fortunate to return the following year as a staff member working closely with Joe and other Geographic staff members. This nation's teachers and children have lost a true champion of education.—C. Payne

I got a chance to meet Joe for the first time in the July of this year. In the few short days that I spent at a National Geographic workshop, I found him to be a kind, sincere individual. The word "professional" doesn't seem to fit Joe because he just had so much fun with his job—I thought if you were ever a professional that meant you were tied down and straight-laced. From my observations, Joe loved his job and inspired all he came in contact with to love and appreciate geography and, of course, life. Though the time I got to work face-to-face with you was brief, I'll always remember your enthusiasm. Thanks, Joe.—Patrick Vernon, Elon, North Carolina

We think of Geographic explorers venturing to far parts of the Earth and surmounting all obstacles. They always should return, if not victorious, then enriched by their experience and then passing those riches of knowledge to us. It is so difficult to believe that two of these explorers and their charges should perish in an act of hatred while making a simple trip in their own country. When the Society has fostered understanding across this war-torn sphere it is truly a bitter blow. My condolences to all of those who knew them as persons and not simply pictures on the screen, as much as I've lost in what they did, you must have lost so much more.—Jim King

I worked with Ann, Joe and Hilda on the NGS Hawaii Institute as well as the NEC Conference. There were outstanding people and truly loved their profession. They will be desperately missed!!—Robin Salonich, West Columbia, SC

I offer my sincere condolences for the tragic loss of Joe Ferguson and Ann Judge from all Geographic Institute participants in Canada. I had the opportunity to meet Joe in November 1991 in Washington and be part of the first Canadian contingent of teachers to take part in the NGS summer institute. Joe was instrumental in my selection and participation in the NGS program and I will be forever indebted to him for allowing me the privilege of partaking in that wonderful geographic educational experience. I have been a geo-evangelist ever since. I was so, so saddened to hear of his loss. He was a tremendously gifted, giving person and he will be solely missed. My prayers will be with the families and loved ones.—Peter McAllister, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Dear Ann, I am writing to you even though I know you cannot read this. I am extremely saddened to hear of your death. Ann, you and I along with nine other teachers and students went on a Marco Polo in 1994. We had a wonderful time and learned so much. Thanks to you and the entire experience, I believe I have been a better teacher. You will be missed. The world has truly loss a bright star. Thanks, Ann—Sonja Glaser

With this brief message I want to express my grief for the loss of these valuable people: members of National Geographic staff, outstanding teachers and students. All over the world there is this feeling of sadness for not having them anymore, even if we did not have the pleasure of knowing them, we know there are people like them working for the wellness of our world. For their relatives, I know the pain is too much compared with ours, as they only have now a proud memory of them. My offering is to work more like them to honor their memory. Sincerely yours—Fernando Ibarra-Núñez, Acapulco, Gro., México

I want to express my sincere condolences to their families and colleagues of National Geographic. I feel sorry for them and for all people who died in the tragedy. God be with you. Be sure, I and my family will pray for them.—Bele (México)

To me Joe represented the sort of teacher I try and be every day. His humor, intelligence and high expectations encouraged all who worked with him to do their best. Ann was fun and efficient and a very caring person. Her caring caused her to do her best in helping people move around the world. I will miss both of them.—Sheila Nice, Arizona Geographic Alliance

I first met Joe and Ann at the Workshop on Wilderness in 1994. I have gotten to know them over the years, especially Joe, as I attended the Urban Institutes in 1995 and 1998. They were both terrific, talented people who will be missed by all of us in the education field who have had the privilege of knowing them. They were both very dedicated professionals who will be missed for a long, long time to come. My heartfelt sympathies go out to their families and the National Geographic Society. My heart also goes out to the families of those dedicated teachers and precious children that perished. Sincerely—Nancy Schwer, Teacher, Indianapolis Public Schools, Geography Educators Network of Indiana

There are no right words to say at this incredibly overwhelming time of grief. This indescribably despicable crime was committed against ALL Americans, and our hearts go out to you. May God bless you and keep you through this time of sorrow. You are in our thoughts and prayers, as we sit here so helpless to do more.—Bill and Linda Gracey

My sincere condolences are sent to you after reading the loss of two employees of National Geographic in the U.S. plane hijack this week. Such a sad, sad week it has been for humanity on a global scale. The loss of your colleagues and the young students and their teachers who obviously held environmental issues close to their hearts is devastating. However, they will be remembered because of their commitment to nature and the planets future. Bless you all and America at this sad time.—Susan Boyland, Information Officer, The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia Inc., Locked Bag, Perth

I share your grief. It is unbelievable. Thousands of innocent people were killed without any reason. This event shows that terrorism has got no country or no nation or no logic. All the countries and everybody should condemn terrorism where ever it is. Those whoever have done that and the ones who support them should be found and punished severely.—C. Arpacik, Turkey

I send condolences and prayers to the families of Joe Ferguson, Ann Judge, Hilda Taylor, Bernard Brown, James Debeuneur, Rodney Dickens, Sarah Clark, and Asia Cotton. We will miss these very talented friends who touched so many lives. May God sustain you during this time of sorrow.—Mary L. Phillips, District of Columbia Geographic Alliance

Hello from Sydney Australia. I watched the live television broadcast down here all though the night and into the hours of the morning. I watched in total disbelief. This could not be happening. It's the 21st century. We are civilised beings. I just cannot imagine this at all&—it's like a dream. Only 12 months ago we were all gathered together in Sydney in peace and harmony for the "best Olympic Games ever." How life has changed by these senseless acts of terrorism. We must all look to the future with hope for some sort of world peace. Please pass along my condolences to the families of the team killed. My thoughts are with them all. God bless.—Glen Marie Hollebone, member since January 1, 1979

Dear National Geographic: In May 2000 we had the privilege of performing live in your headquarters. The experience was an enriching one, memorable. It was with deep dismay that we learnt of the deaths of Ann Judge, Joe Ferguson and the many others. Unfortunately, we are unable to adequately express our horror and revulsion at such an outrage. Yes, even in Northern Ireland we are numbed. Please accept our deepest sympathy and expressions of condolence. Today, Friday, we are having a memorial service in the chapel at 11.00. You will be foremost in our thought and prayers. Sincerely, on behalf of our students, families and faculty.—Paul Duggan, Principal

I met Joe Ferguson one evening a few months ago with a group of friends in Washington, D.C. Though I only had the privilege of meeting him once, I can still remember his bright smile, his shining personality and his warm friendliness. He was one of those people you just naturally enjoy being around. We laughed all night long. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Joe, Ann and the teachers and students they were traveling with.—Shaun Fanning, Washington, D.C.

As a subscriber and fellow American. I am saddened by your loss. God Bless America!—Patrick Hannigan, Jacobs Engineering Corporation, Conshohocken, PA

To the families and friends of the victims, I am deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred this week. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. As a teacher I feel sick with grief that these outstanding students, teachers and National Geographic family members were taken from us while they were in transit to be honored and celebrated. They will not be forgotten. Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolences. I feel like I have lost my own friends. Sincerely—Carlos Lossada, Co-Director, UCLA History-Geography Project

I was a friend of Joe's and a neighbor. What a wonderful man Joe was. He would stop by my house every time he and Winston were out and about. My dog (Princess) and Winston would be panting and sniffing at a fevered pitch while Joe and I would try to have a civil conversation. I can picture Joe trying to restrain Winston and me trying to restrain Princess and I smile. I know that Joe loved his work. I told him I thought he had the best job in the world…because I knew that he was great at it. I miss Joe already…sitting outside on my patio, waiting for him and Winston to round the corner. We all grieve. I prayed for you all and for Joe today at Mass. I think Joe would get a kick out of knowing he got me to church. Bless you all.—Tom Valentine, Washington, DC

I sit here in tears looking at the familiar faces who have touched my life. I am a 1993 Summer Geography Institute graduate who spoke to Ann before I arrived at National Geographic. Know that my heart shares your sorrow here in the state of Washington. My students will feel the same way. I hope you will find solace knowing their lives live on through me and the many other teachers who have been trained at the National Geographic institutes. Sadly—Bonnie Svingen, SGI '93

My heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Ann Judge. Although I did not know Ann well, she was an early role model and inspiration during my tenure as a young Editorial Assistant on the staff of the magazine. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.—Rebecca (Withers) Chastenet de Gery

Our deepest and most sincere thoughts are with all of you in these days of grief and anger. Pray for unity and world peace, so that these precious losses will not have been in vain. Hopefully, some day, the children of the world can again travel with a great sense of security.—Joan P. Lewis

I first met Ann and Joe in 1987 when I attended the SGI. I know that I am not alone in trying to work through the loss of both these dedicated staff members. Fellow Missourian Mike Hardy and I would often call Ann at home from where ever we were while doing teacher in-services. Her enthusiasm was always infectious and never failed to make us smile. Many late nights were spent with fellow geographers talking with Joe about life. His offhand comments about the day's situations will be greatly missed. My sympathies to NGS and all Alliance members at our loss.—Reed Black

Hilda Taylor was the kind of teacher who could have changed the lives of many more students. Her quiet determination did not allow you to settle for adequate, but assumed you would do better than that. Had the hijackers had her as a teacher, I don't see how they could have valued life so little. Her work actually did make the world a better place.—Cindy Lee Duckert

Voglio esprimervi le mie piu' sentite condoglianze per la tragedia vile ed inaspettata di cui siete state vittime.Sperando che tutto cio' possa contribuire ad aprire le menti di tutti.—Lomagno Davide

I was unbelievably shocked when I found out that two National Geographic Society staff members were killed in Tuesday's tragic events. Joe and Ann's contributions to the Society as part of their cause to help students of any age and culture realize the first steps of their dreams to become future scientists have been unique. They will always be remembered by all National Geographic Society members and staff. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends.—Elsa Karpasitis, National Geographic Society Member, Cyprus

I am writing this message concerning Joe Ferguson. I did not know Ann. I grew up in Durant, Mississippi, and attended school with Joe. I was one year younger than him. He was a close friend of mine and I always admired him. He was always particular in everything he did and I always considered him a powerfully intelligent person. He was very devoted to his friends and family. I always knew Joe would make a difference in this life and he did. I am very moved by the other messages on their behalf and how many lives they touched across the world. He will surely be missed.—Deborah McDaniel Quinn, Secretary to the Mayor, Greenwood, Mississippi

Being from a suburb of Atlanta, I though I'd be immune from the pain and trauma being suffered by the victims of the tragic accidents and their family and friends. I now find, that even 750 miles away, not even I am immune. My aunt works in the National Geographic travel department —under Ann Judge. While I was not lucky enough to meet Ms. Judge when I got to tour the National Geographic offices a few years ago, I'm sure she was loved by all who worked with and knew her. My sincerest condolences go out to the families of Ann Judge and Joe Ferguson, as well as the students and teachers who also lost their lives.—Eli Boorstein, Alpharetta, GA

In hearing the horrendous news my heart is deeply saddened. I spent some time with Joe and Ann in Hawaii on the JASON Project trip in 2000. I got out all my pictures and will always remember the GREAT times and how dedicated they were to education and the teachers. The education world has lost two wonderful advocates!! Those of us in the JASON Project loved them and will miss them very much. Sincerely and with heavy heart—Beth Ann Cope, McFatter Magnet Technical High School, Davie, FL

I am a seventh grade geography teacher at Waterloo Junior High, Waterloo, IL, and, like the rest of the nation, feel so much sorrow for the families who lost loved ones. Please accept my few words as a way of trying to express my sadness at the NGS loss and the D.C. school's lost of educators and students.—R. Burroughs, WJHS Teacher, Tech Team, WCTA President

Knowing Joe, Ann and Hilda, I feel certain that they were trying to shield the students until the very end. I keep seeing their smiling faces as we worked at the NGS/JASON summer institute in Hawaii or at the National Educator's Conference in Milwaukee. My heartfelt sympathies to their families and to the families of everyone involved in this terrible tragedy.—Holly Garrett, Team JASON Trainer

Joe and Ann's loss will forever be felt in the hearts of those who knew them. They were truly very special people who touched the lives of so many people. They will never be forgotten.—Douglas Bradley, Geography Education, Highland Middle School, Highland, IL

As a former employee of National Geographic, I had the opportunity to work with Ann Judge. My condolences go to her family. May God Bless Us All during this tragic time.—Michael V. Whetstine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Dear National Geographic: Having met Joe for the first time at a Corps of Education Partners conference one year ago, I am deeply saddened and shocked by this loss. Seeing Joe's face among the numbing magnitude of this national tragedy makes coping a greater challenge. Over the past year, Joe had worked diligently to develop a robust and growing teacher education program related to Lewis and Clark. We collaborated on our June Institute with National Geographic providing scholarships for teachers from seven Midwestern states. Our June Institute was one of the best experiences I ever had in working with teachers. The energy and professionalism of this group reflected the academic excellence promoted by National Geographic's commitment to geography and teacher professional development. Moreover, it was an extreme honor to be working with National Geographic given their reputation. Joe, having worked for geography education outreach since 1986 at the Geographic, held the institutional memory of this program and literally touched thousands of teachers lives over these years. Just last week, Joe, Marianne Kenney and I had conference called and were planning a major collaborative effort for next summer, with Joe envisioning 4 teachers from each of the 11 trail states for two weeks at UM. Joe was planning on coming out Oct. 4th, to role up his sleeves and get to work planning this event. Joe's drive represented the very essence of commitment and passion for removing the barriers and pettiness of our daily lives and the actualization of our potential. Even though I did not know Joe very well, I did admire this about him a great deal. This was someone who wanted to do something that made a major difference and would have a lasting impact upon the Bicentennial. Despite the fact that Joe is no longer with us, I remain committed to realizing Joe's dream and making sure his vision is not lost in the darkness that has befallen all of us. In this way, we can remember Joe and his memory will remain alive in the hearts of those of us who remain.—Alex Philp, Director, National Lewis and Clark Education Center and EOS Education Project, University of Montana, Missoula

My condolences to my friends at National Geographic and to the families and friends of Joe, Ann, the three Washington teachers and their students. What a terrible loss for all of us.—Paul E. Kostyu1, 1999 National Geographic Faculty Fellow

I continue to be horrified at the extent of pain and suffering—it seems to never end. My heartfelt sorry and condolences at the loss of your two colleagues. I'm especially traumatized by the loss of the children. My prayers are that they died in the arms of loving adults, who in their final moments let the children know how deeply they are loved.—Debbie Anderson, Denver

My wife and I were privileged to have spent 10 days in late August/early September 2001 in Belize, on an EarthPulse Sustainable Seas Expedition. Ann Judge was on that trip, and we were fortunate enough to have become good friends with her during that incredible experience. Her wonderful personality, boundless energy and sense of humour served to enhance what was already an amazing time for us, and we were looking forward to a lifelong friendship with her. We were devastated to receive word this week that Ann had been killed in the Pentagon crash, and our hearts go out to Geoff and the rest of Ann's family, as well as to all at National Geographic who have lost valued colleagues and dear friends. We knew Ann only for a very short time; even so, our hearts ache with grief. Our deepest sympathy to all, and God bless.—Kendall & Paula Richardson

Several years ago, I met Joe Ferguson. Joe told me of his work with students in the D.C. Public School System. He got great joy from volunteering with students. He loved his job at National Geographic. Joe Ferguson was a good man. He will be missed by all who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.—Steve Zagami

What can I say? This is so sad, it hurts. Take care of each other. New Zealand is sharing your grief.—Perry Bisman, Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand

A tragedy so far away, yet so close. I can say that I was blest to have worked with both Joe and Ann through the New Mexico Geographic Alliance activities. While we will all miss them, their spirits and life work will continue as they have built a great legacy. Please pass on my condolences to all at NGS and to Joe and Ann's families. Via con dios.—Connie Hudgeons, Immediate Past President, New Mexico Geographic Alliance

As life-long subscribers to National Geographic, we are saddened to hear about the loss of Ms. Judge and Mr. Ferguson. We wish to send our condolences to their families, and to the families of the teacher/student teams from the Washington area. I praise the Society, and the teams, for their involvement in the marine research project at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. They are in our prayers.—Gary & Annie Robertson, Layton, Utah

My prayers are with the family and friends of Ann and Joe, and all the victims and families of this atrocity. Peace—Bruno Lanman, Cincinnati, Ohio

I knew Joe Ferguson because he was the coordinator of the Urban Geography Institute that I participated in during the summer of 1995. I considered him a great colleague and friend. He will be greatly missed. In sympathy—Bridget Kelley, Los Angeles, CA

Dear NGS: I am writing to express my condolences to the NGS staff and the families, friends and colleagues of Joe Ferguson and Ann Judge. I am a Teacher Consultant with the Oregon Geographic Alliance and had the honor and pleasure of getting to know Joe and Ann this past July when I participated in the JASON XIII Frozen Worlds Institute in Juneau, Alaska. It is amazing how close all the NGS staff, JASON staff and TC's became during the ten relatively short days we were in Juneau. Joe and Ann made the trip a truly extraordinary experience and constantly provided the participants with support, insights and of course, friendship. I feel like I've lost two friends who I've known for years. Joe and Ann's dedication to geography and education was exemplary and they will be dearly missed by many. Sincerely—Bryan L. Forbes, Cedar Park Middle School, Portland, Oregon

I am saddened by the death of your team. I met Joe once through my brother-in-law, Steve, who was his very good friend. Joe struck me as a loving and caring person. I mourn for his mother and friends.—Beth Snyder

With love and respect for these geographers whom I always adore, I would like to convey my deepest condolences to their family and friends for this sad loss. My prayers go out for fellow geographers, students, teachers and all other victims of this heinous crime.—Fazlay S. Faruque, Director of GIS, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS

My sincere condolences over the loss of your colleagues Ann Judge and Joe Ferguson. My heart goes out to your staff and their families. God Bless.—Pete Gemma

I am very devastated by the tragic deaths of both Joe and Ann. They both were outstanding professionals. When the horrible events occurred in New York, I told my husband that I needed to e-mail or call Joe to find out if our New York friends were all right? I never expected that Joe might be on a plane. I knew Joe very well and I am still picturing him dancing the macarena on the dance floor, suprising teachers with goodies and telling me his great stories. My heart is heavy with sadness but I know he would want me to stay strong and keep others happy. My wonderful memories of D.C. and NGS are synonymous with thoughts of Joe. He will always be a part of my thoughts. Adios Joe, Vaya Con Dios.—Graciela Bell

I struggle to find the words to express the sadness that I feel for the families, co-workers and students of the National Geographic Society staff and teacher/student pairs who were killed Tuesday. We all lost a great deal on that tragic day. We need to treasure the times we have together, for we do not know when those times will end. I hope that the National Geographic Society will develop a plan to help us commemorate these fine people—perhaps a special program or scholarship. They left their homes in search of adventure and traveled beyond the bounds of this earth. A true tribute will be to not let this program become yet another casualty to hatred. God bless you in this time of sorrow.—Jan McLaughlin, Distance Learning Specialist, New Hampshire Public Television, Durham, NH

Dear people, My family and I were so saddened to hear of your tragic loss, indeed the tragic losses of SO MANY Americans and foreign nationals. As a lifelong reader of National Geographic publications, I know of the profound commitment to educating the world which has been undertaken by your staff over the many decades. This trip was no exception to the display of such desire to educate our children and to enrich their lives through the powers of learning and discovery. May God bless these individuals and their families and friends and co-workers, and comfort each of you with the knowledge that they gave their lives in service to America's youth. Sincerely—Mark Quinlisk and Family, Colorado Springs, CO, UNITED STATES of AMERICA

In a small effort to put a face to a name of one of the thousands of people killed this past Tuesday, I offer this brief personal glimpse of Joe Ferguson. I got to know Joe through a large group of friends who shared a beach house on the Delaware Coast in the late 1980's an the early 1990's. As one of the founding members of "Stockley and Surf," Joe was integral to a group of friends who gave me some of the best times of my life. Joe's warm, southern smile and charm, balanced by a soft, but stinging wit, still brings a smile to my face. Although the original One Stockley group is now scattered across the country, I could count on Joe to give me an update on what everyone was up to. I last saw Joe this past weekend at the gym, sweating away on a treadmill. We talked for a while, getting caught up on a friend that had just moved to Portland, Oregon. When we parted, Joe said, with that memorable smile and slight tilt to his head, "See ya." See ya, Joe. You now belong in our hearts and our memories.—Mark W. Arnold, AIA, Associate, Hickok

Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with all of you now during this time of great loss and that we will continue to pray for your strength and the healing of your hearts. God Bless America!—Suzanne Bruner, Birmingham, Alabama

Please convey my deepest sympathy to the extraordinary ones that were lost on Tuesday. My heart goes out to you and all their families. Sincerely—Diane Deplue, Frank Layden Elementary, Frontenac, KS


Messages Received Thursday, September 13

Please accept my deepest sympathy over the sad loss of your colleagues Ann Judge and Joe Ferguson, and pass on my condolences to their families.—Jenni Maynard, United Kingdom

Thanks for a well-written article about several friends of mine. You really caught the essence of Joe and Ann. I was glad to spend much of my summer with them. I will miss them—they always made me proud to be a teacher. I will miss Hilda, too.—Steve McCarville, Omaha, Nebraska

My sincere condolences. I love the National Geographic Society and what it's doing to help to save this planet through education and research. These two fine people contributed to that and the world will miss them. My heart goes out to the staff that miss their co-workers, and the families of Joe Ferguson and Ann Judge.—Ellen van Nifterik, The Netherlands

My condolences go out to the friends, family and colleagues of National Geographic who have lost some great people in this national tragedy. God speed and God bless.—Michael Hamm

My mother is a Pre-K teacher and her school is interested in sending condolence cards to the schools that suffered such a grievous loss. Please publish that info or e-mail it to me. Thank you so much. God Bless—Clarissa Ernest
Readers may send cards to Barbara Chow, National Geographic Society, 1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-4688. They will be forwarded to the respective families.

As a teacher representative from the California Geographic Alliance-South at the 1996 Summer Geography Workshop and again at the Advanced Leadership Academy last year, I had the opportunity to enjoy the friendship of Joe and Ann during two wonderful summers. I was greatly saddened by yesterday's tragedies for the nation as a whole, but truly personally touched when Steve Cuhna passed on the awful news today. Please forward my sympathy and condolences to all NGS co-workers and friends of these two remarkable, energetic, fun-loving yet hard-working, decent people. My heart goes out to you.—Diane Bruns

I am so sad to hear about Joe Ferguson and the others who where killed in the horrific tragedy Tuesday morning. I am a personal friend of Joe's and know what a unique person he was and how much he loved life, his friends and his work there at National Geographic. The local news here in Jackson, Mississippi, reported today that his mother had said that he is a likely victim. All of his friends loved him and cherished his friendship greatly and we will miss him more than words can express. Please know how our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as we grieve.—Berry Dumas

I would like to offer my thoughts and prayers for Joe, Ann, the three teachers, and students. I am a Florida Geographic Alliance teacher consultant, and elementary teacher. My heart goes out to their families and friends.—Mary

Kia ora. I was very sad to hear that the National Geographic Society had lost two staff members in the Pentagon plane crash. This is becoming a huge tragedy of almost overwhelming dimensions. The thoughts of many New Zealanders are with the American people trying to come to terms with what has happened. Kia kaha (be brave and resolute).—Stephen Hormann, Whanganui, New Zealand

Our thoughts are with our friends at National Geographic during this trying time. It is difficult at times like these to be away from home as so many of the staff are here at Atomic Productions, Africa. Hang in there, all of us Americans abroad are thinking of you.—Ron Irwin, South Africa

My wife and I were participants in the 1994 NGS/U.S. Navy Project Marco Polo. It was my pleasure to have met and worked with Ann in Spain and Morocco as well as the at-sea portion of this trip. We hooted and howled as she regaled us with stories of the folks that travel for NGS and the rather unique situations that occurred. My wife traveled to NGS and stayed with Ann in 1994 and 1995 after the Marco Polo trip. Ann will be missed by Derinda and me. Our prayers go out for Ann and her friends and family.—Bob King, Mississippi.

From the entire management and staff of the Governor's House Hotel: We also have lost a treasured colleague in Ann Judge. Her extraordinary sense of humor and can-do attitude is exactly how we would describe her. Our thoughts and prayers are with the National Geographic and of course her husband Geoff and family.—Steve Wieder, General Manager, Washington, D.C.

Please express our condolences to your staff at the loss of your colleagues. We are avid readers and subscribers to your magazine…your loss is our loss. Our hearts and prayers and thoughts and support go out to all of you…across the miles…God Bless all of you, your families, and God Bless America! Remember, we are survivors. We are Americans. As long as God is in charge, we cannot and will not lose.—Rita Matte

Dear families of Ann Judge, Joe Ferguson, James Debeuneure, Rodney Dickens, Sarah Clark, Asia Cottom, Bernard Brown, and Hilda Taylor. I just wanted to express my deepest sympathy for your horrible loss. I'm sure it's a burden none of us can even imagine. Please know our prayers are with you. Words surely cannot comfort you at this time, and I am at a loss of words to use to express how saddened we all are about this tragedy. I just feel compelled to reach out to you and tell you what you already know…that the nation is watching and offering their love and support. God bless each and every one of you, and God bless America.—Margaret Rivera, Southport, North Carolina

Joe will be forever missed…the pain I feel is unimaginable, but my heart goes out to each of the families, loved ones, co-workers and many teachers that are all affected by this. My prayers are with you and my thoughts center around the joy I have had in knowing him and knowing his dedication to the work he was doing.—Mike McClung, Denver, Colorado

I knew Joe Ferguson. I am from Mississippi and he and my sister were very, very close friends. I am so sorry that this tragedy has taken such a vibrant, funny man, from this universe. My sister is Lisa Bennett. The family are in my prayers.—Dena Kimbre

Loss of life—under any circumstances—is invariably difficult to bear. But this insane orgy of death, destruction and devastation leaves one gasping for words. As a long time reader and admirer of NGS and all the wonderful people who make it happen, please convey my heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families of Joe and Ann. May God rest their souls in peace.—Vic Pandya, Rajkot, Gujarat, India

I never knew Joe or Ann, but I wish I had. I have no doubt that they were wonderful people and would like to extend my sincere condolences to their families and the families of all those who lost loved ones. I realize that my words are of little comfort at a time of great loss but my thoughts are with you all.—Mark McGurnaghan, Northern Ireland

Please convey my sincere condolences to the family, friends and fellow staff at NGS for the tragic deaths of Ann Judge and Joe Ferguson. I know they will be sorely missed, but that their spirit will forever shine on in the fine work of the NGS. God Bless Ann and Joe—and God bless America.—Desmond Browne

I would like to express my sincere and deep sympathy to Joe and Ann's family. As an NGS Instructional Leadership Institute graduate in 1994, I knew Joe Ferguson and had the privilege to share professional experiences with him. He was really a great and fine human being. Our prayers go out for Joe's and Ann's family.—Yanil Barbosa, Arecibo, Puerto Rico

My deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Joe and Ann and those teachers and students who traveled on the ill-fated flight. It is difficult to express the overwhelming feeling of inadequacy and sadness at a time like this, but I'm trying to find strength in all that they both shared with those of us involved with geography education. I first met Ann in 1992 when she helped me get from Kodiak, Alaska to Atlanta and back in one piece, and again when she got me to D.C. in 1999 when I also met Joe at the Leadership Institute at NGS. They were an inspiration and the biography on the news page at NGS is very fitting. Thank you for sharing that information with the world.—Laurene Madsen, Kodiak, member of the Alaska Geographic Alliance

I am a teacher consultant with Alliance of Idaho Geographers. This past July, I had the opportunity to meet Joe and Ann during the NGS-NCSS-NBPTS seminar. They were both so kind and so supportive of the teachers and it was with great sorrow that I learned of their death. They will both be missed very much.—Theresa Silvester, Twin Falls, Idaho

I would like to express my sympathies in the deaths of the teachers and children associated with the National Geographic Society. Let us (I am in science education myself, both as a student and as a teacher) remember them through our efforts to educate others.—Allen Smith

What an indelible impression both of these wonderful people have made on my life! My prayers go out to their families, as well as those of the three teachers and students that were to embark on such a wonderful opportunity. Let us remember the great joy, encouragement and zest these fabulous lives shared with us.—Debbie Mongiardo, New Jersey

Is there a memorial fund for Joe Ferguson and Anne Judge?—Shannon Smith
The National Geographic Society has established a fund to honor and celebrate the lives of Joe Ferguson and Ann Judge and their tireless commitment to the Society's mission of education, exploration, research, and conservation. The fund will be designated to support geography education, including continued opportunities for students and teachers to learn about and interact with the natural world. Gifts of all sizes are welcome and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please send a check, made out to the National Geographic Society, with a note indicating the Ferguson/Judge Fund to: National Geographic Society Development Office, 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. To make a gift with a credit card please call: Lois Wood at 202-828-6684 or 1-800-373-1717 (outside Metro D.C.)

My deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Joe Ferguson, Ann Judge, Hilda Taylor, Bernard Brown, James Debeuneure, Rodney Dickens, Sarah Clark, and Asia Cottom. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless.—Cindi Colbert

It is with heartfelt sadness that I offer condolences to the family and friends of Joe and Ann. As a participant in SGI in Washington during the summer of 1991, and the Workshop on Water in California in '93, I have very fond memories of both of these wonderful people. In fact, I searched/found a photo of the two of them aboard a cruise liner sailing around the San Francisco harbor. Their memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all who had the honor of knowing them.—Eddi Porter

My heart is heavy for everyone at NGS, particularly for friends and former colleagues in the Geography Education Program and Travel Office. Joe and Ann exemplified the best of those committed to making our world a better place—through education, through cultural awareness, and through a greater understanding of peoples and places. Their spirits are in good hands and they are traveling in God's hands. My condolences to all.—Dori Jacobson, Wilmington, Delaware

It is a with a heavy heart and great sadness that I express my deepest sympathy to you and the families of Ann and Joe and also the families of the teachers and their students. I am a teacher consultant from Connecticut and SGI 1989. I have worked with Joe and met him at conferences since that time. These outstanding people will be greatly missed as they were admired and respected by all. May all of you at NGS know that my thoughts and prayers are with you as we all grieve this horrific national tragedy.—Sheila Spellacy

Joe Ferguson and I were graduate students in the Geography Dept. at Ohio University, graduating with our masters degrees the same time in 1987. And I still have our Geography Dept. softball team photograph, including Joe and myself. I remember Joe as a guy who always seemed to be in a good mood, no matter what. And a proud son of Mississippi, surrounded by a bunch of Yankees in Ohio! I hadn't seen or talked to Joe since college days, but I still feel today like I've lost an old buddy. My condolences to Joe's family and friends.—Brian McNamara, Cleveland, Ohio

I was with Joe In Hawaii last summer in conjunction with the JASON Project. I met Ann only on the last day when she came to make sure we all made our flights home. When my pastor told me that several NGS/JASON Project people were on the Dulles flight, I was in shock. I then logged on to NGS Web site to find out who it was. This catastrophe has now become very personal to me. My prayers are with the entire NGS/JASON family and the families of the teachers and students. I am a 6th grade science teacher.—Marilyn Quinn, HI Inst. 2000

They were part of a great team and will be missed.—Jan Foregger

The horrific events of September 11, 2001, have made a profound impression on us collectively as a nation, but also personally and professionally. These events have threatened to endanger our traditional sources of meaning, energy, and achievement in the United States. Historically, Americans have found meaning in work, family, community, and shared faith. We have always drawn upon collective resources to do what we could not do alone. Let us not forget that such tragic events have traditionally served to strengthen, not sever, our idealism, unity, and commitment to democracy.

While we mourn nationally, we also mourn personally. One of our members, Joe Ferguson and his colleague from the National Geographic Society, Ann Judge, leading a study trip with three teachers and three students to California, were on the American Airlines flight that collided into the Pentagon. As we learn more about the victims, we keep in our thoughts and prayers all who have been personally affected by the tragedy.

But however we grieve, we can begin to look on the events of September 11 as a significant opportunity to touch and improve the future. As social studies educators, we need to reinforce the ideals of tolerance, equity, and social justice against a backlash of antidemocratic sentiments and hostile divisions. Such a task is neither easy nor clear-cut, but as teachers, it is a challenge we find every day in our classrooms. In the wake of such loss, devastation, and confusion, we owe it to our students to rise to that challenge again. (Joe would have wanted us to do this.)

(I will miss Joe and Ann tremendously, but I will always remember them. This is not only a loss to geographic education, but to the entire community of educators.)—Adrian Davis, president, National Council for the Social Studies

Read additional e-mailed messages of condolence sent by readers: Go>>

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