"The world changed today. What I say or do is very minor compared to the significance of what happened to our country today when it was attacked." So said Expedition 3 Commander Frank L. Culbertson, upon learning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.
This image is one of a series taken that day of metropolitan New York City by the International Space Station's Expedition 3 crew that shows a plume of smoke rising from the Manhattan skyline.
Upon further reflection, Commander Culbertson said, "It's horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are."
The Bay State is set to mark the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks today with several memorials, including a somber ceremony on the steps of the State House.
For Irene Ross of Jamaica Plain, whose brother Richard Ross was aboard Los Angeles-bound American Airlines [AMR] Flight 11, today is especially painful because she feels like much of the nation has forgotten the terrorist attack that claimed more than 3,000 American lives.
“I think people have moved on,” Ross said. “I’m heartbroken to think they’re not remembering. They’re going about their daily lives, which they’re supposed to, but they’re still supposed to remember.”
Ross will share the duty of reading victims’ names at the State House ceremony, which she’s done twice before.
Sonia Tita Puopolo of Miami is holding a 7 p.m. vigil today at the Boston Common bandstand to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which claimed the life of her mother, Sonia Mercedes Morales Puopolo, 58, of Dover, who was on Flight 11 on the way to the Latin Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, which she would have attended with her son, Mark.
“Of course it’s painful to remember that day,” Puopolo said. “But I need to look at how I can inspire people to heal.”
Carie Lemack, 33, of Framingham, whose mother, Judy Larocque, was also on Flight 11, will spend the day with family and friends, “remembering how she lived her life, not how it was taken from her.”
“She lived her life to the fullest, and that’s what she would want for us and for the two grandsons she never got to meet,” Lemack said.
Lemack was on her way back from attending a U.N. symposium on supporting victims of terrorism.
“I’m hoping part of my mom’s legacy will be that what happened to her will never happen again,” Lemack said.