Issaquah marks 9/11 anniversary

September 18, 2012

City leaders lowered flags to half-staff at Issaquah City Hall and other municipal buildings Sept. 11 to commemorate 11 years since the 9/11 attacks.

The federal government and local governments across the United States lowered flags at public buildings for the day — officially Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and other elected leaders marked the anniversary.

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City lowers flags to mark 9/11 anniversary

September 11, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 11, 2012

City leaders lowered flags to half-staff at Issaquah City Hall and other municipal buildings Tuesday to commemorate 11 years since the 9/11 attacks.

The federal government and local governments across the United States lowered flags at public buildings for the day, officially called Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The flags should remain at half-staff until late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

“More than a decade later, the world we live in is forever changed,” President Barack Obama said in a proclamation to commemorate the anniversary. “But as we mark the anniversary of Sept. 11, we remember what remains the same: our character as a nation, our faith in one another, and our legacy as a country strengthened by service and selflessness.”

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Born on Sept. 11, 2001

September 20, 2011

History is intertwined for Issaquah girl and 9/11 attacks

Larisa Tutkur, 10, a Sunset Elementary School fourth-grader, holds a book featuring the Brooklyn Bridge — a route many people used to escape Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001 — the same day she was born. By Greg Farrar

Larisa Tutkur and a tragedy share a moment in history — Sept. 11, 2001, was Larisa’s birthday.

The bright and outgoing girl learned about the connection after she turned 6, and her parents explained the catastrophe.

“When I first found out, we did talk about it,” she said. “Then, after a few years, we just looked at it as my birthday and nothing else. We didn’t want to talk about it because it’s a really, really sad day.”

Larisa is among the 13,238 babies born in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and the only such child in the almost 17,000-student Issaquah School District.

The fourth-grader at Sunset Elementary School turned 10 on a day many people spent reflecting on a tragedy from a decade ago.

Larisa’s parents, Maida and Omer Tutkur, resettled in Washington from war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina months before the 9/11 attacks.

Maida Tutkur, then six months pregnant, landed in the United States on June 28, 2001, not long after her husband settled on the Eastside.

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Community pauses, reflects to commemorate 9/11

September 13, 2011

If terror remains the most vivid memory from Sept. 11, 2001, then resilience emerged as the most forceful message on the 10th anniversary.

In a series of solemn gestures, amid a ceremony steeped in symbolism, community leaders gathered beneath a crystalline sky Sept. 11 to remember the 2,977 people lost in the attacks, and the more than 6,000 military personnel felled in Afghanistan and Iraq since then.

Issaquah police officers, Veterans of Foreign Wars members and city leaders salute the U.S. flag at Issaquah’s 9/11 remembrance ceremony. By Warren Kagarise

“This is a time to remember the victims of Sept. 11, as well as remember those who risk their lives every day to protect ours,” Mayor Ava Frisinger said in a stirring speech to the crowd assembled on the Issaquah Community Center lawn. “My hope — and it’s an ongoing one — is that we as a nation and as communities may live without fear and act without fear.”

The experience on a sun-splashed afternoon echoed a vigil from the day of the attacks, when stunned residents gathered on the same spot for a sunset ceremony.

The crowd at the 10th anniversary, about 200 people strong, did not match the attendance from then.

In the opening prayer, Eastside Fire & Rescue Chaplain Mike Ryan said 9/11 served as the catalyst for “this age of terror and these moments of remembrance” — a theme repeated throughout the remembrance ceremony.

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City, King County changed disaster preparedeness since 9/11 attacks

September 13, 2011

The decade since 9/11 has reshaped how Issaquah and King County leaders prepare for disasters and manage the response to emergencies.

The attacks also meant increased attention — and dollars — for emergency management efforts, although local officials said the initial focus on counterterrorism sidelined plans about other dangers, such as floods and earthquakes.

“All of the sudden there was a big focus on emergency management in general. That was good news from an emergency management perspective,” said Bret Heath, city public works operations and emergency management director. “The bad news is that it shifted from all hazards to almost strictly terrorism immediately following 9/11.”

Issaquah planners focused on more common emergencies — floods, snowstorms, windstorms and the like — in the years before the attacks.

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

September 13, 2011

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.

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Off the Press

September 13, 2011

In New York or here, the lesson is to love

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Pundits and writers this week have been trying to come up with some profound things to say about the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country. What are the lessons? What has changed?

Here is a lesson I feel I have learned and would like to share, not only from the last 10 years since 9/11, but from my last 15 years of being blessed with this career at The Issaquah Press:

Love in the now. Love often. Don’t leave people guessing, make sure they know you love them.

One of our obituaries this week is for Lillian Tucker, 81, of Issaquah. “Auntie Lil” or “Mrs. Santa Claus” as I knew her, was one of the first people I met here in 1996. She was famous for her holiday nutcracker collection and her love of the Seattle Mariners. She worked a number of years in the deli at the Front Street Market, serving and smiling for her customers.

There have been so many people, some I was able to know and some I wasn’t.

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Community gathers to commemorate 10 years since 9/11

September 11, 2011

Issaquah High School Navy Junior ROTC members present flags as Issaquah police officers and Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters salute during a Sunday ceremony to commemorate 9/11. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 4 p.m. Sept. 11, 2011

If terror is the most vivid memory from Sept. 11, 2001, then the most forceful message on the 10th anniversary is about resilience.

In a series of solemn gestures, amid a ceremony steeped in symbolism, community leaders gathered beneath a crystalline sky Sunday to remember the 2,977 people lost in the attacks, and the more than 6,000 military personnel felled in Afghanistan and Iraq since then.

Read more

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

September 11, 2011

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.

Read more

Interfaith group formed after 9/11 plans to build Issaquah homes

September 11, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 11, 2011

Together We Build, a group formed by Christians, Jews and Muslims amid the fear and mistrust after the 9/11 attacks, plans to commemorate the 10th anniversary by building homes in Issaquah for families in need.

Habitat for Humanity of East King County hosts the 10th annual Together We Build project from Thursday through Saturday. The timing is meant to reflect the anniversary of the terrorist attacks — the initial impetus for forming the interfaith organization.

(Together We Build members also participated at the Issaquah construction site last week.)

Together We Build unites Christians, Jews, and Muslims to find common ground and learn from each other.

The group raises $20,000 to $50,000 each year. Most of the funds go to Habitat in order to fund homebuilding projects. In the last decade, Together We Build contributed $438,531 — or enough to build four homes.

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