Monday, October 08, 2001

Victim's husband approves attacks



By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Lynn Faulkner nearly got lost Sunday in the simple joy of watching his daughter play in a youth soccer game. Still, reminders of Sept. 11 were as close as the second folding chair that remained in his car.

        An hour later, the Mason man — whose wife, Wendy Faulkner, was killed in the World Trade Center attacks — took his usual place in the brown leather chair in front of his TV. And the emotional roller coaster began again as he watched video footage from a distant place.

        This time, Afghanistan.

[img]
Lynn Faulkner of Mason, whose wife Wendy was probably killed at the World Trade Center attack in New York on Sept. 11th. Dog Sydney, 7, belonged to Wendy.
(Craig Ruttle
Cincinnati Enquirer photo)
| ZOOM |
        “This is war, there's no question,” Mr. Faulkner said as he watched Fox News' coverage of American-led assaults on suspected terrorist posts. “This is as war as it gets.”

        Mr. Faulkner spends many hours of the day in that brown chair, with the ottoman in front, the stack of newspapers to his right, and his dog, Sydney, on his lap.

        Like some other local families who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Faulkner felt military retaliation was inevitable and justified.

        “It is very apparent to me that what happened on the 11th was chapter one,” Mr. Faulkner said as a map of Afghanistan and its neighboring counties filled his TV screen.

        “This has to be ugly,” he said, “these (terrorists) are ugly. I've been anxious to see this happen. Diplomacy isn't gonna work with these people.”

        In the next breath, however, he spoke in a broken voice about the razor-thin line between being sad and getting mad.

        Wendy Faulkner was a 47-year-old vice president of Aon Corp., a risk-management company and insurance brokerage. She was attending a one-day meeting at the World Trade Center when the hijacked planes hit.

        Today, the Faulkner dining room table is a sea of letters and cards — many from total strangers touched by the story of Wendy's lifelong charity work.

        Mr. Faulkner called terrorism “like a cancer, and if you leave a little bit of it, it just comes back.”

        So he comes back himself, every morning at 5, to his place in the brown leather chair. “These terrorists talk about dying and going to paradise,” he said, “and I think they should get the opportunity to be dispatched to their paradise.”

        As for the first part of Mr. Faulkner's Sunday, 13-year-old Ashley Faulkner's Milford Barracudas tied the Wyoming Hurricanes, 1-1, in what he described as a “terrifically played game.”

        The second part of Sunday will blend into today, then tomorrow. He accepts this. It's been that way since Sept. 11.

        “I was painfully aware it's just me sitting there at that lsoccer game,” he said.

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