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FEMA Pulls 9/11 Coloring Book From Their Site … Are They Wrong?

Posted by Casey on May 3, 2009

FEMA has had a coloring book available for children to download that has a 9/11 theme called “A Scary Thing Happened.” FEMA has just decided to pull the coloring book off of its website.

The government agency that bungled the Hurricane Katrina response has yanked a kiddie coloring book from its site called “A Scary Thing Happened” that depicts the burning twin towers on the cover – with a plane heading straight for one of them.

On page 12, the stomach-churning 9/11 image is repeated not once but three times, complete with flames – for kids to color.

See, I told you it was real.

Needless to say … some New Yorkers weren’t happy about the coloring book.

“I feel disrespected,” said Jason Owens, 20, of Manhattan, who was with his 3-year-old son. “I feel like I should punch the person who did this in the face.”

Standing with her goddaughter, 43-year-old Risat Jabeen of Brooklyn, said she was shocked FEMA would find it inoffensive.

“Kids color for fun so these things shouldn’t be in coloring books,” she said. “So many people died that day.”

Vanessa Bell, 38, of Bronx, said there’s no way she’d let her 5-year-old daughter color in that book. “It just makes kids feel depressed,” she said.

The concept of the book, however, wasn’t to offend … it was to cope with tragedy.

The coloring book was dreamed up by the emergency response team in largely rural Freeborn County, Minn. – after it was ravaged by a tornado, said Rose Olmsted, a county official.

“It was developed to help children make some sense after a disaster,” said Olmsted. “I have a letter from FEMA in 2003 applauding us for the coloring book.”

I guess they’ve been passing these books out to kids since 2003 in the US and even in Australia.

It got me thinking though. Was FEMA really wrong for supporting such a coloring book? How about for pulling the book from its website? Are they trying to sweep 9/11 under the rug under the guise that “it’s too soon” or “it’s too tramatic” just like the news has done? I don’t know.

What do you think? Take the poll on the top left of this site.

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