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

September 13, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

On Sept. 11, 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, 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.”

Lights illuminate the under-construction 1 World Trade Center tower in red, white and blue on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. By Jeremiah Case

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 on the anniversary.

“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.

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.

“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.”

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.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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