Daily Archives: May 3, 2011

James Carroll On 9/11, Our Wars And Our Opportunity

Published May 3, 2011

James Carroll (Courtesy)

James Carroll (Courtesy)

The other day I had a conversation with James Carroll about our response to Sept. 11, the wars that were “unnecessary” and the moment of opportunity America now faces.

The Globe columnist, distinguished professor-in-residence at Suffolk University and author — most recently of the book “Jerusalem, Jerusalem” — regularly presents us with both the big picture of American foreign policy and the tectonic clash of Christianity with Islam and Judaism in ancient and modern history.

For my piece this morning, I availed myself of his brilliance as a chronicler of Boston, as well, for a look back to what began here 10 years ago and ended with the killing of Osama bin Laden.

I had far too much to share and so little time, so here’s an extended interview:

Powder Found At Coakley, Brown Offices

Published May 3, 2011

Authorities investigate white powder found at Sen. Scott Brown's office at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston Tuesday. (Steve Brown/WBUR)

Authorities investigate white powder found at Sen. Scott Brown's office at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston Tuesday. (Steve Brown/WBUR)

Authorities say there is no threat from white powder found earlier today in envelopes at the offices of Attorney General Martha Coakley and Sen. Scott Brown.

Boston Fire Department officials found the first envelope at about 11 a.m. when an employee in Coakley’s office opened a piece of standard mail and the powder spilled out.

“Initial field tests have been conducted and the results do not indicate that the substance poses a risk,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement. “In an abundance of caution, additional testing will be conducted.”

The second envelope was found a short time later at Brown’s office in the John F. Kennedy Federal Building.

There were no injuries and no evacuations.


The AP reports:

A third letter containing a suspicious white powder also was being investigated Tuesday at the Franklin County Courthouse in Greenfield, which was evacuated as a precaution.

Bin Laden’s Death Brings Back Powerful 9/11 Memories

Published May 3, 2011

The Twin Towers stood tall in this photo from the 1970s. (AP)

The Twin Towers stood tall in this photo from the 1970s. (AP)

With Osama bin Laden’s death, many of us thought back to the event that seared the terrorist mastermind into America’s consciousness. Sept. 11 was on the mind of much of the world Monday, including WBUR News Director Martha Little, whose view of the LA skyline was drastically altered.

After the second plane hit the World Trade Center towers, the world sat in shock. Like many others, Jonathan Bohan was concerned for friends and family in New York.

Bohan remembers “frantically worrying about my cousin whom I mistakenly thought worked in the towers,” he wrote on WBUR’s Facebook page.

Barb Moser’s son was a sophomore at New York University. “I couldn’t reach him because the phone lines were jammed,” Moser wrote on Facebook. “He finally got through to me about six hours later. I was never happier to hear his voice.”

Some shared with us stories of people they lost.

“I remember most vividly the moment I learned that my friend John Ogonowski was the captain on Flight 11 which was the first plane to hit the World Trade Center,” Sonya Dunne wrote on Facebook.

“I lost my brother on 9/11/01 in South tower,” commenter Mflenihan wrote. “It was horrible then and continues to be for our family and the world. My mother has never been the same.”

Ten years after the attacks, it’s sometimes hard to remember just how scared we all were. We had no idea what the attacks were about, or where they might strike next.

[pullquote author = “commenter Mflenihan”] “It was horrible then and continues to be for our family and the world. My mother has never been the same.”[/pullquote]

WBUR’s Fred Thys remembers the world glued to its TVs and radios. After learning the news, Thys was assigned to head to Logan to cover the story from there.

“I ran to my car shouting repeatedly, ‘Oh, my God!'” Thys wrote. “In those days, before the I-90 Connector tunnel was open, it could take an hour to get to Logan. I made the trip in eight minutes. No one was on Boston’s roads.”

Some recalled other specific scenes.

“If someone was crying on the T or on the street, people stopped to comfort them,” Gretchen van Ness wrote on Facebook. “People asked complete strangers, ‘Did you lose anyone?’ and wanted to know the answer. I think it was at least a week before I heard a car horn again.”

Matthew Juros said he remembered “the silence of skies without air traffic.”

That fateful day is burned into the memory of most of us. It always will be.

“Can still feel the sun and see the clear blue sky and have the images from TV replaying in my head today,” commenter Shakespearegoddess wrote.

How do you remember 9/11? Share your story in the comments or on WBUR’s Facebook page.

Tuesday Morning: The Day After Bin Laden

Published May 3, 2011

One day after the nation learned of the death of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, the country is confronting what’s left of al-Qaida.

Boston and other major cities are bracing for reprisal attacks. Members of the military say the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are still far from over. Many Muslims are confronting their religion’s image in a post-bin Laden America.

Like the Sept. 11 attacks that brought bin Laden to the forefront of Americans’ minds, bin Laden’s death is sure to go down in history. Details on the raid continue to emerge and the Globe has a great graphic explaining the logistics.

Families of 9-11 victims and soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan took yesterday to remember their loved ones. Sept. 11 will be a defining date of my life — for young kids, May 2, 2011 may be similar. And, for those wondering, the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list isn’t ranked, so Whitey Bulger doesn’t move to the “top spot” after bin Laden is removed.


Boston today in non-bin Laden news:

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to delay its re-licensing decision for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth.

Sen. Scott Brown said he’s planning to fulfill his National Guard service commitment in Afghanistan this year.

Thanks to a huge game from goalie Tim Thomas and an overtime goal by center David Krejci, the Bruins beat the Flyers 3-2 last night. The team returns home from Philadelphia with a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on the corruption trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi, the death of former Globe publisher William O. Taylor and the security at Logan Airport.