Reported by Fred Bever
BOSTON — Massachusetts residents are pausing Tuesday to remember the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. While the intensity of the events and media coverage this year may not be as great as during last year’s 10th anniversary, 9/11 is still very much on people’s minds.
At Boston’s Public Garden Monday, a slow trickle of people stopped by a low-profile stone memorial, where they silently read the names of 9/11 victims inscribed in the pink granite.
“You know, every year you come back here and it’s just very emotion-filled, I have to say,” said Gloria Janakas, of Peabody. “I think it touches every American, every time [the anniversary] comes around. I mean, not that we never think about that day, but it just brings it back, like now.”
Janakas says she often flew to Los Angeles on American Airlines’ Flight 11, the same flight the hijackers diverted to crash into the World Trade Center’s North Tower. She still makes the trip on occasion, and she misses the pilot’s voice.
That goes double and more for Caroline Ogonowski, whose father, John Ogonowski, was the captain of Flight 11. She says that the 9/11 anniversary is hard, not only because of the day itself, but because of the season as well — this is the time when her father led the harvest at the family’s Dracut farmstead.
“And in the fall, now all the pumpkins are coming in,” Caroline Ogonowski said. “The corn is perfectly ripe right now, we have peaches and blueberries and everything is right at that harvest time, so this is the time that we remember our father because of that, and it just happens to coincide with the anniversary.”
Ogonowski serves on the board of The Red Cross, and Tuesday she’s volunteering at a blood drive in Fenway Park, which goes til noon. She says it’s work that helps her through the day.
Back at the Public Garden Monday, Malden resident Ronald Foster spent several minutes alone at the 9/11 memorial.
“I can’t believe it’s been this long — 11 years,” Foster said. “It’ll always be hard, especially when it comes to the time itself.”
There’s a wreath-laying at the Public Garden Tuesday, and a flag-lowering and moment of silence in front of the State House. There’s also an award for civilian bravery — the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award — named for a flight attendant who also died on Flight 11 that day.