Remembering 9/11


By Elizabeth J. Normen

(c) Connecticut Explored Inc. Fall 2011

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As a history magazine, we usually draw the line for our editorial coverage at mid-20th century. But as the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 approached, we felt this event had already made an indelible mark on our country and our state and changed us as a nation. In part, we took our cue from the Connecticut Historical Society, which in 2006 organized a traveling exhibition about 9/11, and from Greenwich, the Connecticut town closest to New York City and one of the communities most affected by the events of that day.

The Greenwich Historical Society has mounted Everyday Heroes: Greenwich’s First Responders, an exhibition that places first response and public safety in historical context. We asked both the Greenwich Historical Society and the Connecticut Historical Society to contribute stories for this issue (see pages 20 and 26). We then decided to take a look at what other disasters have befallen us in Connecticut and how our citizens had responded to them.

We also became interested in how we have prepared for adversity. Tido Holtkamp brings us the story of the Eagle, a former World War II German naval training ship that for the last 65 of its 75 years has trained Coast Guard cadets out of New London. You’ll also read how Connie Nappier, Jr. of Hartford prepared himself to join the famed Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.

There has been much said about the outpouring of assistance and generosity that resulted from 9/11 and the sense of unity and solidarity that we felt in the aftermath of that horrible day. In this issue we celebrate the many times we’ve come together as Connecticans, and we also draw inspiration and comfort from a sense that, come hurricane or terrorist attack, in times of crisis we will again come together to help neighbors and strangers in need.


Read all of the stories in the Fall 2011 issue


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