1. Today should be sunny, with a high near 72, according to the National Weather Service. Tonight should be clear, with a low around 50, according to the service.
2. Almost always, for the two years I’ve been doing this column, I’ve had the this date in history piece as the fifth one. But not today, where this date is far more memorable to all of us than just about any other.
On this date in 1609, Henry Hudson discovered Manhattan Island and the indigenous people living there.
Three-hundred-and-ninety-two years later, as almost all of you remember, the worst terrorist attack in United States history occurred, with that island being at the center of the terror. Members of al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes, crashing two into the World Trade Center and a third into the Pentagon. Overall about 3,000 people died in the attack.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
3. Waterford was hit that day as well, with one of
James Greenleaf, 32-years-old, handsome, successful and well-liked, was working as a foreign exchange trader on the 92nd floor in the north tower of the World Trade Center that Tuesday morning. Greenleaf, a Waterford native, would die in the attack, his body never found.
Since, his family and friends have refused to let Greenleaf be forgotten. To this day they hold a 5k race, an annual golf tournament and a dinner at near his birthday to honor their friend and raise money for the James Greenleaf Jr. Scholarship Fund. The fund gives scholarships to graduating seniors from Waterford High School and St. Bernard’s (Greenleaf’s alma mater), among other schools.
To learn about or donate to the James A Greenleaf Jr. Scholarship Fund, click here.
4. The world changed that day too, . In reality, what happened was all these agencies dedicated to protecting us realized the only way they could stop a terrorist attack is by working together, Waterford Police Chief Murray Pendleton told Patch in a long interview last September 11.
Pendleton said the biggest lesson learned from Sept. 11 was that different law enforcement agencies had all the information on the eventual terrorists, but because they weren’t talking to each other, it wasn’t all put together. More collaboration could have stopped the attack, he said.
Since then, the new mantra has been working together, and that has carried over into all police departments across the country, including Waterford, Pendleton said. Before the terrorist attacks hit, police departments would brag about the arrests they made on their own, without any help, he said. Now, police departments like Waterford brag about the relationships they’ve formed, and the many more arrests they make working with other departments and agencies, he said.
“There has been a lot of good that has come out of this terrible tragedy,” Pendleton said at the time.
5. Everyone who lived through that day has it etched in his or her memory, I’m sure. For me, I was just a punk senior at East Lyme High School, who thought it was an accident at first. Then at study hall we watched it on TV and realized it was no accident, and this silence overtook the entire school for the rest of the day. We still had class and everything but it was so quiet, nobody could pay attention and we all were locked on the television.
That afternoon I went to work at my job at Salem Country Gardens, which was normally pretty busy. But the place was a ghost town, except a few people coming in to buy flags. It was so surreal, and none of us who worked there even really talked about it, we just went on quietly with our work. I remember being very sad, much more sad than angry, and wondering why people would do that. It took two or three days for me and it seemed like everybody else to stop watching the television, to stop trying to figure out what was going on and to resume some normalcy in life.
Anyway, that’s just my memory. I’m sure your tale is far more interesting than mine, so I invite you to add your own memory to the announcement section (click here to go there) on this website. I will be featuring people’s memories of the event throughout the day, as they post them.
Quote of the Day
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
Trivia of the Day
An easy one today, but a topical one. Who was the mayor of New York during the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks?
Yesterday’s Answer: Ron Paul is the representative for Texas’s 14th congressional district.