>   With the catastrophic events of the last few days, I have opened up this page for comments, memorials and notes from our citizens, leaders and other selected sources. If you would like to contribute to this page, we will continue to publish other comments in upcoming weeks.
   Tuesday morning I awoke to a horrific scene: hijacked airplanes were flying into buildings and crashing to the ground. One plane hit a tower of the World Trade Center. Then, what seemed like only moments later, a second plane hit the other tower in what looked like a very coordinated attack. To my horror, it didn't stop there. Next I heard a plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and later one came down somewhere in Pennsylvania. Then, what looked to be the final horror of the day was the collapse of both towers of the World Trade Center.
   The impact of these events didn't sink in until later in the day, after hours of watching the news and wondering if that was the last of it. What added to the tragedy of the lives lost in the airplanes and buildings was the amount of rescue workers that were lost in the collapse of the buildings. My dad and grandfather are both firefighters/EMT's, and I have always had so much respect for people in their line of work. To lose so many at one time had an impact on my whole family. What has happened in America doesn't seem real to me, maybe because it happened on the east coast, or maybe because I have never seen anything like it, but I sincerely hope that it is over.
   Stephanie Wright
   I am most concerned about what the United States will not do. If we do not totally destroy the guilty and their political structure completely we, and the rest of the world, are inviting more terrorism. The world must understand it is fatal to attack us in any form. You may also include this in your comments from local people.
   Don Bedient.
   Our hearts go out to the victims of yesterday's vicious attacks and their families. As a delegation, we stand firm in our resolve to find the person or people responsible for these cowardly acts of violence and to bring them to justice.
   It is especially important at this time that we strengthen our commitment to freedom and democracy. It is through that commitment that our nation can and will pursue and punish the perpetrators. We must not let these senseless acts of violence distract us from the business of our nation and our lives.
   On behalf of all Oregonians, we express condolences to the victims of these horrible acts as well as their families, friends and other loved ones.
   Congressman Walden
   Congressman Wu
   Congressman DeFazio
   Congresswoman Hooley
   Congressman Blumenauer
   Washington D.C.
   (excerpted from a speech given Wednesday on the floor of the US Senate)
   "Yesterday, America was called to endure yet another day of infamy, but our ship of state is still on course. Our duty in this Senate and in this Congress and in this country is now to recover the dead, to comfort the families of the victims who have perished, and to restore our institutions and set aright the shaken confidence that many feel. Then it is our duty to seek retribution that is careful but certain and as swift as possible.
   "Freedom is not free, and I think America knows that in a renewed fashion. We are the leader of the free world-we must not trample on freedoms as we continue to lead. We are the leader of the civilized world and we must not target innocent civilians. They are the leaders of the uncivilized world and we saw their work yesterday. We have been called to lead in a different way. We have been called to lead the civilized world."
   US Senator Gordon H. Smith
   Washington, D.C.
   (excerpted from a speech given Wednesday on the floor of the US Senate)
   "Tuesday morning this nation witnessed an attempt to pitch into darkness the light of American liberty. It was nothing less than an offensive against the freedom that our nation represents.
   "It was nothing less than pure evil that cast a shadow over our country, darker than the smoke from any explosion. Yesterday, fanatics challenged our nation to war, striking at civilians and service members alike.
   "Today, the United States Senate is making it clear that we will not bow to this brutality. We believe passionately in this country, in due process and the rule of law, but the effort to find justice here cannot be allowed to degenerate into endless debate. America must act decisively.
   "Families across this country are in their darkest hour right now. At the moment, not all of the victims) names are known, out of the thousands believed lost in this tragedy. In the coming days they will become familiar to us, and their lives and legacies will be shared with the world. But we already know them. These victims were husbands and wives, daughters and sons: to every American, brothers and sisters.
   "And so we honor the memory of those we have lost. But we also make it clear today that we will not allow the strength of this nation to be sapped by terror. America is not going to be drained by devilish acts of rage.
   "Our entire Congress stands united behind the President against our enemies and against those who would shelter them. The entire nation stands together with a very clear intention to endure. Our enemies should know that the entire free and democratic world stands unmoved in its dedication to liberty for all people. We speak with one voice and will move in concert to protect principles that we hold dear.
   "The flame of democracy is going to be fanned even brighter. We will not just carry the torch, but we)re going to make sure that the standard is held higher than ever before.
   U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
   Washington D.C.
   On behalf of the entire Network Commerce staff, we wish to express sincere sympathy to anyone affected by the recent World Trade Center, Pentagon and Pittsburgh Tragedies. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered. For those receiving this note, we hope you are well and safely with your loved ones.
   As a concerned citizen, you may be asking how you can help the victims of the recent disaster. The answer is simple: Please give to the American Red Cross.
   Your donation will help thousands of people in a time of great need. American Red Cross resources are strained during emergencies of this magnitude. Please read the following official message from the American Red Cross and respond in this time of need.
   Dwayne Walker
   Chairman & CEO
   Network Commerce Inc.
   "My heart goes out to the families of those killed and injured in the terrible tragedy that struck the nation Tuesday, September 11. We all share the pain inflicted upon them. None of us is unaffected by this event. In the days and weeks ahead, the leadership of our nation will face tremendous challenges as the President, his Cabinet and Congress struggle to craft an appropriate response to this barbarous act. My prayer is that they might find the wisdom and courage needed to deal with the burden of leading the nation through this difficult time."
   Scott R. Cooper
   Crook County Judge
   And on another subject:
   Last week we started to monitor local gasoline prices and will continue to until the prices stabilize.
   Prineville gasoline prices as of 9 a.m. Thursday, September 13, 2001:
   Town Pump $1.799
   Leathers Texaco $1.839
   Prineville Exxon $1.839
   Chevron $1.839
   Main Station $1.799
   Cross Street Station (Exxon) $1.839
   Country Store (Powell Butte) $1.839
   Most stations held their prices during the last week, but two of the stations, which had had lower prices raised their prices.
   According to the Oregon AAA, the statewide average for regular unleaded is $1.743 per gallon. A month ago it was $1.535 and this same time last year, the average price of a gallon was $1.818.
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