Since 9/11 lives have changed (some)

DeWayne Bartels
New York City, NY, September 13, 2001 --
A New York City Fire Chief addresses firefighters concerning the shifting of surrounding buildings at the World Trade Center crash site.

Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA Photo News

When Eureka Alderman Jim Meares was asked how his life has changed over the decade since 9/11/01 he paused.

“I’m not sure it has. We don’t travel outside the U.S. We don’t fly much,” Meares said.

Asked about fear of terrorism, Meares said, “I don’t mean to be flip, but I’m not sure there’s anything for anyone to blow up in Woodford County. It’s a bother to go through security. But, maybe security was too lax.”

Nancy Aldridge, another Eureka resident, was also at a loss to put her finger on how, or if, her life has been dramatically altered.

“I don’t know that it has changed much for me, except when I go to the airport,” Aldridge said.

“We’re a rural area. We’re not affected by a lot of things the way others are.”

Metamora Police Chief Mike Todd agreed that small-town life had not changed much.

“I really haven’t experienced a lot of change. We see more respect for those in public safety, though. Even a small town can pay tribute. But, that’s about the only way it’s impacted me personally,” Todd said.

“For a lot of people it is out of sight, out of mind.”

That is not the case for Kip DuBois of Germantown Hills. DuBois said this anniversary is a special one for him.

“The biggest impact for me is I have always been pro-military. Since 9/11 I’ve grown in my appreciation of the military and the ‘Greatest Generation,’” DuBois said.

“I think more and more of how the military have protected our freedoms. I grew up in the Cold War era. That and 9/11 has given me a greater appreciation of my freedom and the sacrifices they made to preserve them.”

For Martin Payne, superintendent of Metamora Grade School, it all came down to security.

“More than anything the lasting impact for me is the emphasis on security in schools,” Payne said.

“As safe as Metamora is we have to realize no place is immune. We have to be prepared.”

Rick Simpkins, principal of Germantown Hills Junior High, said for him the biggest impact has been the change in approaching other cultures in education.

“There’s heightened awareness of the world now in our classrooms. We teach the students about the world now. Our kids now about the world economy. We’ve seen the world shrink significantly,” Simpkins said.

“It’s a lot smaller than it was 10 years ago. We now make students more aware of other religions. It’s a huge change. When it happened we didn’t know how to react or what to tell the students. That has changed. The really cool thing that has come out of this is a greater sense of patriotism.”