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Witnesses of bombing try to cope

For the witnesses of the Olympic park bomb, the nightmares have begun.

Some feel guilty about escaping injury. Others cannot concentrate. Sleeping is not easy.

So Atlanta, helped by counselors who dealt with the horrors of the Oklahoma City bombing, set up a 24-hour phone line and support center for people trying to come to terms with the pipe bomb attack that left two people dead and 111 injured.

"It is a normal reaction to an abnormal event. People think they are crazy, but this is just the way the body deals with it," said American Red Cross counselor Barbara Brown.

The sooner people confront their fears, the better.

"People try to minimize it, saying they weren't cut and that they are okay. But they end up having nightmares and difficulty concentrating, remembering and sleeping."

Calls come in from revelers caught up when the pipe bomb exploded early Saturday. Equally traumatized are the police and doctors who helped the wounded.

Manning the phone lines is an act of personal courage for volunteer nurse Debbie VanBarneveld. Her 19-year-old daughter, Evera, was in the park when the bomb exploded. She was not hurt physically, but the mental wounds will take time to heal.

"She keeps saying, "It should have been me.' That is classic survivor guilt," VanBarneveld said. "I am helping her to talk her way through it."

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