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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Saudi Arabia Bombings Hit Home: Georgia Woman's Husband Among Dead

Aired May 14, 2003 - 19:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia may seem far away to some. Indeed because of the distance, the time zones as well as the language barriers, it took awhile for the full story, the full impact of the story to filter through.
But when it did, its impact was felt in many places, including suburban Atlanta. Grace Lawson is a teacher there. Her husband, Clifford, worked in Saudi Arabia. It wasn't until a full day passed that she learned her husband was among the victims.

And she joins us from her home in Snellville.

Thank you very much for being with us, Miss Lawson, at this difficult time.

How are you and your family doing?

GRACE LAWSON, VICTIM'S WIFE: We're doing all right.

COOPER: I understand that it took really a full day for you to get this horrible news. When did you first hear about the bombings?

LAWSON: Yesterday in my classroom the secretary called and told me that my principal, Miss Daniels, wanted to speak with me and this was right before 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. And I told -- I just threw the telephone down and just ran across the room because I knew it couldn't be my husband.

COOPER: And you had obviously, of course, heard of the bombings. I think you heard about them on the radio. What went through your mind when you first heard about them?

LAWSON: Well, I was coming back from an area with my -- with our youngest son and there was a baseball game on the radio and I heard them say that bombs or something had happened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And immediately I changed the radio because I didn't want my 12-year- old to hear it.

So he came home and got prepared for bed, for school the next day and I did my quick research on television and I got the 1-800 number the ambassador gave out and I started calling to see was everything OK with my husband and I called his room and the first time I called I got the recording that I heard before. Then I called back again and I didn't hear anything. So I went to sleep and I woke up the next morning and I called his job in Virginia and they took my name and telephone number and some one called me at work and told me. And I found out that's where my husband was killed.

COOPER: Miss Lawson, I am so sorry. How's your son doing? I mean, how did you break the news to him?

LAWSON: He's doing OK. He's doing all right. He has family and friends around.

COOPER: And do you have family and friends with you as well?

LAWSON: Yes. My husband's spent 20 years in the military. He was very dedicated to the United States military and he enjoyed his job in Saudi Arabia. He was military connected over there in some ways, but he loved what he was doing. He just loved -- especially the dedication with the 20 years in the military. He loved it. He was a hard worker.

COOPER: Miss Lawson, I know it has got to be just the worst possible time for you and our thoughts and our prayers are with you and your family and we just wish you the best and wish you some peace.

Thank you very much, Miss Lawson. I appreciate it.

LAWSON: Thank you. Thank you.

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