Listen to these personal stories ...
Andy Stevens
Rhonda Messia
Diane Hunt
Olivia Brassard
Darrell Anderson
Phil Cronan
Andy Stevens
Rhonda Messia
Diane Hunt
Olivia Brassard
Darrell Anderson
Phil Cronan
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We Remember
 
Honored Dead: Victims of 9/11
 
Moments of remembrance on the South Shore and beyond
 
Stories of survival, heroics
 
Taunton man remembers the last day with his wife
 
Have things changed?
 
How attacks affected kids, and how are they now
 
Nationally
 
Brockton native decided how much to give 9/11 families
 
Graphic: Sequence of 9/11 events
Audio interviews and editing for this series were conducted by Cory Hopkins, Diana Schoberg, Ryan Menard, John Kelly, Andrew Lightman and Ken Johnson from The Patriot Ledger, and by Jean Porrazzo, Elaine Allegrini and Craig Murray from The Enterprise.
Site Design: Stephen Ide

 

Children of Sept. 11

And now, painful
questions begin

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The first baby arrived just hours after the disaster, and the last nine months later.

Their fathers were rescue workers, cops, restaurant waiters and stockbrokers. Their mothers, pregnant and alone when the dust of the towers settled, worried about the stress on their unborn children from the agony and shock. Some miscarried. One went into labor during her husband’s memorial service.

Associated Press
Julie McMahon holds her son, Patrick, 4, as her older boy, Matthew, 6, looks o. Patrick was born seven weeks after his father, James, died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Each delivery was, all at once, wonderful and awful.

Julie McMahon delivered Patrick while her husband, Bobby, looked on from a photograph on the bedside table.

Patrick arrived with Bobby’s curly hair and lanky body, and has sprouted into a miniature version of his daredevil dad.

The 4-year-olds are now building images of their fathers from the wisps of other people’s memories and photographs, without even the subconscious sense of long ago cuddles or kisses on the forehead.

As each child discovers a lost father’s life, along come questions: How did daddy die? Who are the bad guys? Where did the buildings go? When they cleaned up the buildings, did they clean up daddy, too?

Marylene Cloitre, director of the Institute for Trauma and Stress at the New York University Child Study Center, says the conversation will change as they grow up. In a few years they will probably want to know whether their fathers would have loved them. As teens, they may wonder about identity - how am I like him?

“There are always questions and things that come up, and sometimes I’m thinking, ‘oh my gosh’ - you try to buy time so you can come up with an answer and do the best you can,” says Kimberly Statkevicus, whose second son was born four months after husband Derek died.

Their child, named after his father, turns 5 in January. He is matter-of-fact about what happened. “My daddy went to work one day and some bad guys came and knocked the buildings down and crushed him like a pancake,” he explains.

He wonders why there are no photographs of him and his father, like his brother has. Sometimes, it upsets him.

Some of the questions of these fatherless children are easy: Did daddy like mayonnaise or mustard? When he played baseball, did he strike people out?

Other times, they’re more spiritual: Does he see me when I ride my bike?

For those answers, Terilyn Esse has taught Jack Patrick there is a special thing he can do.

“When he started to talk, I would ask him, ‘Where does Daddy live?’ And he would say ‘In heaven,’ and I would say, ‘Who does he live with?’” she said. “And he would say ‘With God and the angels,’ and I would say ‘If you want to talk to Daddy what do you do?’

“And he would say ‘I close my eyes and look inside my heart.’”

Graphic:
9/11 Sequence of Events
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PDF (1.4MB) or Flash (large)

Graphic: Timeline of Terror

click to enlarge graphic
 


Sept. 10, 2001: the last ordinary day in America

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A snapshot of the morning

Weather: Sunrise is 6:32 a.m. in the Northeast.
Music: Radios are playing “U Remind Me“ by Usher.
News talk: Is Andrea Yates competent to stand trial for the drowning deaths of her five children?
This just in: The first case of mad cow disease is found in Japan.
Music buzz: Fans preorder Bob Dylan’s “Love and Theft” CD, due out tomorrow.
TV buzz: Last night’s premiere episode of “Band of Brothers,“ produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks for HBO.

A snapshot of the afternoon

Weather: High in Boston, 86 degrees. High in New York, 85.
This just in: Elizabeth Dole plans a news conference tomorrow to announce that she will run for Jesse Helms’ U.S. Senate seat.
Sports talk: Barry Bonds will try to hit more homers at Houston’s Enron Field tomorrow.

A snapshot of the evening

Weather: Sunset at 7:06 p.m. in the Northeast.
TV buzz: Should Megan Mullally or Kim Cattrall win the Emmy for best supporting actress in a comedy?
Music: An all-star tribute to Michael Jackson’s 30-year solo career is staged at Madison Square Garden.
This just in: The Cessna crash in the Bahamas that killed singer Aaliyah may have been caused by an overloaded plane.
News talk: Did Robert Blake shoot his wife outside an Italian restaurant?
Sports: Yankees game with the Red Sox postponed in New York after 0.41 inch of rain.