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Coloradans Remember 9/11
Before the attacks of 9/11, John Sweet spent a lot of his time talking about war. As a history professor in Colorado Springs, that was about as close as he got to combat. But after 9/11, all of that changed. At the age of 35, Sweet decided to enlist in the Army, and headed for basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He did two tours of duty in Iraq and eventually rose to captain. As part of our look at Coloradans whose lives were changed by 9/11, Ryan Warner asked Capt. Sweet about his decision to enlist.
Why do we mark the anniversaries of tragedies? Two experts on this topic join us. Stewart Hoover directs CU Boulder’s Center for Media, Religion and Culture. He wrote about memorializing 9/11 in a book called "Religion in the Media Age." Also with us: Barbie Zelizer. She’s a professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She studies times of crisis and how we remember those times. Her newest book is “About to Die: How News Images Move the Public.” Hoover and Zelizer speak to Ryan Warner.
Through our Public Insight Network, we've been asking how 9/11 affected you, then and now. Lee Hill is Colorado Public Radio's Public Insight Analyst and Reporter. He joins host Ryan Warner to share some of your stories, including memories of where you were on that Tuesday morning in 2001, how you reacted to news of the attacks and how your life has changed in a post-9/11 world.
Telluride filmmakers George and Beth Gage were interested in how the families of firefighters who died that day were faring. Their documentary follows five 9/11 widows, many of whom are rebuilding their lives through charity and volunteer efforts.
Dave Roever came close to death when he was wounded in the Vietnam War. His injuries included burns that left him permanently disfigured. When he returned from Vietnam, he was told to stay home, so that he wouldn’t embarrass himself in public. Roever ignored that advice and started telling his story as a motivational speaker. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he decided he wanted to help veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan tell their stories and work through their trauma. On September 11, 2007 he opened a permanent home for this work called Eagles Summit Ranch. It’s in Westcliffe, about three hours southwest of Denver. Ryan Warner speaks with Dave Roever.
On Sunday, 343 firefighters will climb the stairs of a downtown Denver high rise, honoring the firefighters who died in New York City 10 years ago. They’ll march the equivalent of 110 stories -- the height of the World Trade Center towers. Denver’s 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb started six years ago with a handful of local firefighters and the idea has caught on. This year 16,000 firefighters, and civilians, will climb worldwide. Ryan Warner speaks with one of the Denver climb's organizers, Oren Bersagel-Briese. The downtown stair climb is limited to 343 firefighters but there's a climb for the public at Red Rocks Ampitheatre. Click here for more information on the Red Rocks climb.
On 9/11, all over Colorado, classroom teachers scrambled for how to react to the day’s horrifying events. In fact, they’re still trying to figure it out today. For one student, just watching how his veteran teacher responded that day would have a lasting impact on his own future. Here’s the transcript of CPR education reporter Jenny Brundin’s story.
Architect Curt Fentress has designed and remodeled airports all over the world. His first was Denver International Airport, which opened in 1995. Six years later, the attacks of September 11th, 2001 brought a lot of changes to DIA, and to the projects Fentress has worked on since then. In a visit to DIA, he talks with CPR's Mike Lamp about the new security measures he has to plan for, and about keeping passengers comfortable in an era when flying is a lot more stressfull than before. The interview is part of Colorado Matters, and CPR's week-long look at Coloradans who were affected by 9/11 and how they're remembering it ten years later.
On September 11th, 2001, Sahar Babak was a senior at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins. Before the terrorist attacks, no one really paid attention to her religion. But that quickly changed. Sahar was one of many Muslim-Americans in Fort Collins who helped sociologist Lori Peek with her book “Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans After 9/11”. Peek teaches at Colorado State University. Both Peek and Babak spoke to Ryan Warner.
As we approach the 10th Anniversary of September 11th, 2001, we’re going to talk with Coloradans whose lives were changed by 9/11. We begin with a discussion of faith. Right after the attacks, Muslims in this country became scapegoats. Almost immediately, there were efforts to get people of different religions talking, through interfaith projects. Our guests have all been involved in that in the decade since. Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav, Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni, and Father Peter Eaton, who’s Episcopalian, talk about their interfaith work with Ryan Warner. Father Eaton, who, today, is at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, read to us from the sermon he gave the Sunday after 9/11. At the time, he asked “how should people of faith respond to terrorism?”
[Photo: Department of Defense]