Paul Bradbury, then the facilities engineering manager at the Portland Jetport, was in a staff meeting the morning the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. When the second plane hit, everyone in aviation knew it was some form of terrorism, Bradbury said.In the days that followed, details emerged. The world learned that Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari came to Portland, stayed at the Comfort Inn in South Portland, bought gas at a local Exxon, took some cash out of ATMs, stopped at Walmart and dined at a Pizza Hut.
Then they left their rental car at the Jetport parking lot and boarded a US Airways Express flight into Logan Airport in Boston, where they boarded the plane they would turn into a weapon.
They exploited a weakness in American society, the common wisdom that people should comply during a hijacking, mugging or robbery.
U.S. aviation essentially was shut down for about two weeks. When flights resumed, things were changed in Portland and across the country.
“When we reopened, we’d taken this huge mental and psychological hit, so part of the recovery was psychological, too. We had National Guard at the airports with machine guns,” said Bradbury.
Click for the rest of the story by Matt Wickenheiser in the Bangor Daily News.
From across the globe,
they come seeking
freedom and opportunity
FALMOUTH — The last time Lisa Cooke of Falmouth watched the Olympics with her husband and children, she realized it was time to become an American citizen.
Cooke, a native Australian, rooted for Australia while her English husband, Paul, cheered on the United Kingdom’s athletes. That left their two children, Douglas, now 8, and Adelaide, now 11, to support the U.S. teams.
“They were not too pleased with us,” said Cooke.
That was part of the reason why Cooke swore the oath of U.S. citizenship Tuesday with 46 other people from 24 countries in a naturalization ceremony at Falmouth Middle School.
Every year, about 1,100 foreign residents in Maine become U.S. citizens. Most take the oath in administrative ceremonies held in courtrooms.
The ceremony at Falmouth Middle School, which has become an annual event, is a much more elaborate observance. This year, it featured performances by the school chorus and a speech by Reza Jalali, a writer and refugee activist who lives in Falmouth.
The group was surrounded by hundreds of camera-toting friends, family members and fifth graders, who acted as hosts after studying U.S. immigration.
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Beth Quimby of the Portland Press Herald.