Stories

A family portrait of Christopher Helali (left) with his parents and brother in 1996.

We ‘were instantly suspect’: 9/11 changed everything for this Iranian-American family

October 22, 2021

We did not have an American flag outside of our house prior to 9/11. But after 9/11, my dad made sure to put an American flag outside the house, at least as a visual symbol that yeah, in this house, we also support the US. Even if secretly we were criticizing everything. It was a…

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September 10, 2021

Editors’ Note: On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Dennis Cook was where you’d expect to find him on a Tuesday morning — at work. He was a 33-year-old bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald, which had its offices on the top floors of the World Trade Center. Dennis was killed that day, when a hijacked plane…

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‘I Can Still See Their Faces’: Mental Health First Responder Helped Soldiers At The Pentagon After 9/11

September 10, 2021

My name is Judith Markey. I’m a clinical psychologist from Peacham, Vermont. Every year in early September, I start to feel very cranky, sad. I feel like something’s tugging at me, and I’m not exactly sure what’s happening. And then I remember — or my husband reminds me — that it’s almost 9/11. On 9/11,…

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‘The Tunnel Of Lasts’: 20 Years After Losing Husband, Deborah Garcia Says Sept. 11 Remains A Current Event

September 10, 2021

I’m Deborah Garcia, and I lost my husband, David Garcia, at One World Trade Center on the 97th floor, on Sept. 11 in 2001. David was likely on his way to his desk at that time. I have visions that he was just stepping off the elevator. When the plane came through, he was on…

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‘We Were Both There, But We Didn’t Know Each Other Yet’: A Couple Reflects On 9/11

September 9, 2021

I’m Teresa Celemin. I am Matt Smith. We’re here in Hinesburg, in our home that we just moved into about four years ago from the New York area, right across the river. It’s funny because we were both there, but we didn’t know each other yet. We met about five years afterwards. I was in…

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‘A Very Lonely Club’: How Post-9/11 Deployments Impacted Vt. National Guard Spouses, Children

September 9, 2021

Hi, my name is Nicole Morlan. I’m from Montpelier, Vermont. On Sept. 11, 2001, I was currently a volunteer firefighter for the Woodbury Fire Department. Being a firefighter, I’d been in training fires and things like that, where you hear the alarms go off, and it’s frightening, even in a training setting. And I just…

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How A Bridgeport, Conn. Man Wound Up In 9/11 Interrogations

September 9, 2021

Many Muslims feared they would be targeted by authorities following the 9/11 attacks, and it happened in Bridgeport, Connecticut. A Jordanian man named Eyad Mastafa Al-Rababah was living there when he recognized pictures of the alleged hijackers in the news. He went to the local FBI office. “He was very deeply alarmed because he realized…

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When My Husband Died On Sept. 11, I Found My Voice. And I Learned To Listen

September 8, 2021

Twenty years ago, my husband David was killed on 9/11. He was on American Airlines Flight 11, the first flight to hit the World Trade Center. At the time, we had two young children and I was pregnant with our third child. Dave and I were college sweethearts — madly in love — and we…

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Newly Digitized Photo Album Shows 9/11 Attacks From Rarely Seen Perspective

September 8, 2021

A Connecticut teenager found a forgotten piece of history in a family album — photos of the September 11 attacks taken by a relative from a high-rise apartment in the Financial District. Liam Enea is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut. He says his grandmother recently passed away. And before she died, she gave…

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Not ‘A Photon Of Light’ Between Us: Guard Member Remembers Togetherness In 9/11 Aftermath

September 8, 2021

My name is Brigadier General Steve Lambrecht. I’m the Chief of Staff and Air Component Commander for the Vermont Air National Guard. On Sept. 11, 2001, I was sitting reserve for United Airlines. That means you’re on call; you have to be ready for takeoff within four hours of getting a call. I had actually…

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