Issaquah resident finds New York City ‘a little bit quieter’ on 9/11 anniversary

September 11, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Issaquah resident Jeremiah Case snapped a photo of the light tribute to people killed on 9/11 on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. By Jeremiah Case

NEW — 10:45 a.m. Sept. 11, 2011

On Sunday morning, as families of people killed in the attack on the World Trade Center filed to the memorial site to mark 10 years since the tragedy in a solemn ceremony, Issaquah resident Elizabeth Case emerged from the security cordon and headed uptown.

“Everything is a little bit quieter,” she said as Manhattan settled into a strange rhythm early in the afternoon. “I think people who live in New York are hanging out at home or doing family things today or don’t want to be there.”

The “there” she referred to is ground zero, a 16-acre site forever changed on a Tuesday morning a decade ago. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush marked the anniversary at a ground zero memorial to the 2,606 people killed in the World Trade Center towers.

Case joined husband Jeremiah on a business trip to Manhattan. The trip dates and the 9/11 anniversary coincided.

The accommodations for the trip turned out to be a Marriott in the Financial District across the street from ground zero. Officials increased security in the city as the anniversary approached, and tightened the restrictions further around ground zero Sunday.

“I’ve never seen so many firefighters or cops in an entire place in my life,” Elizabeth Case said from the line for “The Book of Mormon” — a hot-ticket Broadway show. “I’ve never felt safer.”

Even a trip downstairs at the hotel for morning coffee brought the Cases into the massive security net tossed across Lower Manhattan.

Elizabeth Case snapped a photo of a massive American flag flying on the uncompleted glass-and-steel facade of 1 World Trade Center on Sunday. By Elizabeth Case

“We’re Americans — that’s our connection to any of it. We don’t know anybody personally,” she said. “The best thing we can do is get out of the way and let the folks who need to be there, be there.”

Case said she did not spot the presidents headed to ground zero. The hallowed ground is also a construction site as crews build 1 World Trade Center, a 1,776-foot skyscraper.

Manhattan did not seem as bustling as usual, Case said, perhaps due to the date being the anniversary, a Sunday and a nice, late-summer day. Jeremiah Case, an auditor for a large accounting firm, had no trouble securing reservations at Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Grill restaurant for Sunday evening.

“Besides being Americans, we have no other ties to 9/11 personally,” Elizabeth Case said.

Still, the experience offered a singular — if unexpected — perspective on the 10-years anniversary.

“We just happen to be here for work and we just happen to be staying across from ground zero,” she added.

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