NEW YORK, Sept. 11 (WOMENSENEWS)–A slight taste of smoke is on our tongues; the smoke is thin and the staff is able to work. The offices of Women’s Enews are about 20 blocks north of the World Trade Center, and fortunately no one who works for Women’s Enews was hurt, nor were any of our colleagues at the offices of NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. For that, we are enormously grateful.

We can see the smoke from our offices and the hole in the sky that was the World Trade Center towers. But we could do nothing more than feel shock and sadness, terrible sadness for those who died, those who were injured and their loved ones.

We walked blocks to get here and could not go home until the streets emptied of those who truly needed to be on the streets.

We went about trying to report the story–though feeling the same fear and apprehension that so many felt throughout the day.

But we are unable to–although sometimes the telephones worked and the e-mail still operated. But the truth is, with our hometown and the nation still reeling from today’s events, it may be best merely to restate our commitment to keep covering the public policy issues, including peace and justice, the best we can.

“Today, Americans have suffered an unspeakable tragedy. We in New York have been watching it from our own windows,” said Kathy Rodgers, president of NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. “Our hearts go out to all the victims and their families.”

In addition, Rodger said, “We must wonder what learning, what possible lesson can we take from this.”

The meaning for Rodgers, after seeing the carnage in her hometown and hearing of the deaths in Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, is:

“We must recommit ourselves, no matter what we do or how busy we think we are, to the most fundamental values: the value of peacemaking, the value of respect for people of all nations and all religions, of all races and classes, and the value of respect between men and women.

“I am going home to pray for peace and justice,” Rodgers said.

Women’s Enews is a project of NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.