From Our Listeners

Letters: Sept. 11 Recording, Polio and 1906 Quake

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Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne read from listeners' letters. They respond to letters about reporting on the 1906 earthquake, the Sept. 11 cockpit recording and more.


And it's time to listen to your comments.

(Soundbite of music)

Many people wrote in after listening to Hamilton Peterson, whose father and stepmother were killed on September 11th. One was especially impressed by the way that Peterson spoke about the tapes of phone calls that people made from Flight 93.

Michelle Chassy(ph) of Woodbridge, Virginia, writes, "He spoke so eloquently, while never revealing exactly what was heard."

Mr. HAMILTON PETERSON: I will tell you that the courage of some of the men and women calling family members is astounding. Average people tying out personal effects, or, you know, final issues. What I would call housekeeping. It's the little things, you know, where you hear those communications, that just really hit you.

INSKEEP: Yesterday, jury members in a terrorism trial heard another tape that Peterson described for us, the cockpit voice recorder, which reveals the sounds of passengers struggling to break in to that cockpit on Flight 93.


Our reports on the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco prompted one listener to think of Hurricane Katrina. From Santa Cruz, California, Steve Lawson wrote, "Like New Orleans, there were strong reasons for not rebuilding San Francisco in the same spot. But San Francisco came back. Perhaps the people of New Orleans should take heart from that."

INSKEEP: John Profit(ph) was bothered that we compared the San Francisco earthquake with another disaster. We said that earthquake killed more people than the September 11th attacks. "If you're not running for president, and trying to scare your audience into voting for you," he writes, "then why bring up 9/11, unless there's a clear relationship between it and your news subject?"

MONTAGNE: A correction now. Yesterday, in our commentary by a polio victim, we said Pakistan was one of the last countries to eliminate the disease. Not quite. Polio has been nearly eradicated in Pakistan, but cases still occur.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: Finally, we have some reviews for Susan Stamberg's chat with singer Robin McKelle. Tom Ging(ph) writes, "If Robin hadn't been identified before I heard her sing, I would have guessed the vocalist was Ella Fitzgerald."

MONTAGNE: Listener Mark Minnick(ph) agrees. "It was refreshing to hear the old standards of the American songbook, done by someone with talent and a feeling for the music."

INSKEEP: Whatever feeling you might have for what we do, you can drop us a note by going to and clicking on Contact Us.

MONTAGNE: And we'll leave you with this old standard.

(Soundbite of song, "The Lamp is Low")

Ms. ROBIN MCKELLE (Jazz Singer): (Singing) Dream beside me in the midnight glow. The lamp is low. Dream and watch the shadows come and go. The lamp is low. While you linger in my arms, my lips will sigh, I...


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