WASHINGTON — For Karen Hughes, counselor to the president of the United States, Sept. 10, 2001, was a day of celebration and relief. It was her wedding anniversary. She and husband Jerry dined at a favorite restaurant in the Watergate and reviewed the drama and chaos of the previous months.
There’d been the long presidential campaign, the disputed election, the move to Washington. They had to move a second time when the first house didn’t work out. Then a freak summer rainstorm had flooded their basement, soaking their possessions.
All that was finally behind them. And so she could say:
“We’ve survived the worst.”
And: “Things can only get better from here.”
That Monday – call it 9/10 – was the last day of a certain kind of American innocence.
Click for the rest of the piece by Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post reprinted in the Bangor Daily News.
After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, changes at Maine’s border crossings were not subtle. More officers were added at ports of entry, inspectors became more vigilant and, in some cases, new ports were constructed.
Although less visible, the division of cross-border communities is one of the long-lasting impacts of the attacks and the heightened security and border restrictions that resulted.
Before 9/11, the border between Maine and Canada was more a line on a map than a barrier. Border agents from both countries often simply waved through the familiar faces they saw frequently crossing the international boundary. Residents of Aroostook County attended churches in New Brunswick. Canadians bought cheaper gas in The County. Socializing with friends and family on the other side of the border was routine.
Reports shortly after 19 hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon said some of the men had entered the U.S. through Canada. Although not true (the hijackers flew into the U.S. from Europe, Asia and the Middle East and had visas issued by the U.S. government), work to better secure the border soon was under way.
While millions of federal dollars have been spent on improving infrastructure — such as building new crossing facilities in Calais, Van Buren and Forest City — the change that has most affected Aroostook County residents is the requirement for a passport, passport card or NEXUS card, an alternative offered through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to cross the border.
Click to read the rest of the story by Jen Lynds, Diana Bowley, and Sharon Kiley Mack in the Bangor Daily News, along with video.
Posted in Disaster, Law and Order, Maine, Politics and government
Tagged Aroostook County, Canada, hijackers, Maine, New York City, Sept. 11, terrorist attacks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, World Trade Center
The mission and scope of the Maine Air National Guard base in Bangor — the state’s only active military base and home to the 101st Air Refueling Wing — developed into something new in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“We’re a lot more active,” MAINEics pilot Lt. Col. Adam Jenkins, who is the 132nd Air Refueling Squadron commander, said recently.
After 9/11, the Bangor-based air refueling wing added approximately 150 full-time active-duty personnel to its roster and now handles or manages nearly 15 percent of the air refueling missions worldwide, according to Lt. Col. Debbie Kelley, a spokeswoman for 101st.
The MAINEiacs have 10 KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, which essentially are flying gas stations that can refuel other airplanes — a crucial function during wartime — and now plays a key role in most military missions the U.S. undertakes, Maj. Gen. John W. Libby, adjutant general of the Maine National Guard, said last week.
“When America goes, we go,” Libby said. “That’s a big change for the air guard.”
Click for the rest of the story by Nok-Noi Ricker in The Bangor Daily News, along with video.
Posted in Disaster, Maine, Politics and government
Tagged 101st Air Refueling Wing, 9/11 attacks, Ground Zero, Maine National Guard, Maineiacs, New York City, Pentagon, Sept. 11, terrorist attack
St. Michael School honors
medical workers who rushed to help
AUGUSTA, Maine – It was Sept. 10, but a Sept. 11 commemoration was nonetheless in order.
Students at St. Michael’s School gathered around the school flagpole Friday morning for a patriotic tribute to the medical professionals who played a critical role in the response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.
Firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel were the first to respond to those attacks. But medical professionals weren’t far behind them in aiding victims, and the 270-student Catholic school recognized them in a ceremony Sept. 11 last year.
“These are the men and women who take care of our sick, our suffering and our infirm,” Principal Jon Caron told students and parents gathered outside the school before classes began.
Three fifth-grade students raised the flag, those in attendance recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and they ended the 20-minute ceremony with a rendition of “This Land is Your Land.”
Click here for the rest of the story by Matthew Stone in the Kennebec Journal.
Unsettled nation marks 9/11 with rituals of sorrow | Associated Press story on Portland Press website
Islam controversies cast shadow over 9/11 events | Associated Press story in the Portland Press Herald
As Sept. 11 dawns, political backdrop hard to ignore | Associated Press story in the Morning Sentinel
Posted in Disaster
Tagged 2001, 9/11, “This Land is Your Land”, Gov. John Baldacci, medical workers, Patriot Day, Pentagon, Pledge of Allegiance, Sept. 11, terrorists attacks, World Trade Center
Here’s a link to a Portland Press Herald story about how travellers made out upon returning from holiday travel amid stepped up security.
Jetport handles flood of calls, but no problems | Portland Press Herald.
One thing to remember in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, world is that a couple of the terrorists that day started out their day flying from the Portland International Jetport. Here is a link from a SFGate.com story on the pair.