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Looking back and looking forward on 9–11

Written by Kathryn Spira


Well, guys, it’s that time of year. The kids are back in school and “summer people” have left our little town to its hard-core, year-rounders like Herman and me.

Also, fall is my favorite time of year, which I won’t let be ruined by memories of 9–11. Of course, it’s hard not to think back 15 years ago to a Tuesday when we were on the beach enjoying a beautiful day. The contractors who were building our new home here on West Caroga Lake had been listening to the radio and told us they thought that the world might be coming to an end and that they were quitting work for the day to go home to watch the news on TV. That’s what the first reports of the 9–11 attacks on the Twin Towers inspired.

As much as I hated to tear myself off of the beach I decided too leave and go back to the camp on North Shore Road that we were living in at the time so that we could watch coverage of what was happening in New York City. All the news covering the tragic events was constant on virtually every channel. The image that sticks in my mind is that of the mayor of New York at the time, Rudy Giuliani running down the street with hundreds of people trying to get to safety. That was part of the coverage that was on the air for weeks.

9/11 as it is commonly known has certainly changed the way I look at life. I have not flown on a commercial airline in a very long time as it is difficult being in a wheelchair to do so. But since the twin towers tragedy, even if I wasn’t disabled with MS, I probably would choose to travel by train if I had to. I traveled to Chicago before 9/11 and the train ride was comfortable, easy and convenient right out of our local Amsterdam station. Since 9/11 Airports have become so chaotic with security and long lines, people having to take their shoes off, walk through X-Ray machines all before even getting on the plane. Some of these check-ins take up to 3–4 hours now which I understand in the hope of trying to prevent another tragedy of this kind.

Looking at the beautiful weather that Tuesday morning (this being the Tuesday before you see my column when I usually write my article), I remember how hard it was to think of the tragedy going on in New York City, which I once called my home.

Herman was out on his kayak Labor Day and took a photo of geese at rest and in flight which kind of symbolizes the flight back to the work-and-school year many are experiencing right now.

I’m most happy here at the beach with the peaceful sounds of water from the lake and the beautiful sunshine filling my heart and soul.


About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site