September 11: Twenty Years Later SWFL Looks Back Encore Broadcast
Last year, to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, WGCU produced an hourlong special that featured voices from Southwest Floridians and their stories from that historic day.
This special was narrated by WGCU’s Julie Glenn. Julie was our news director and Gulf Coast Life host. She died in May of this year after a progression of glioblastoma, a highly malignant form of brain cancer.
It is a moment that defined a generation and changed everything.
For many, it took a few minutes for the unfathomable to sink in as something that had actually happened.
The WGCU News team takes a look back twenty years after September 11, 2001, talking with people who were forever changed by this terrible day.
Valerie Alker Cooper recounts the momentous day she was chosen to report on President George W. Bush from a Sarasota elementary school.
When she went out for her story that morning, WGCU’s Valerie Alker had to know it was a big deal to cover the President of the United States, but it’s unlikely she’d expected to have a front-row seat to a moment that is part of history.
A NYFD Paramedic's Story
Kenneth Davis was a paramedic for the fire department of New York City on September 11, 2001. He watched the plane crash into the first tower that morning as he drove into Manhattan. He suffered several injuries as he worked at the site that day and since then, his physical and mental health has declined as a result. Now living in southwest Florida, Davis's recovery is ongoing.
Naples Teen Reflects on the Loss of Her Father on 9/11: Eight Months Before She Was Born
While families were changed, and hearts were altered in the years after the attacks, infrastructure and security clamped down in a way we’d never experienced before- and they continue to evolve as threats arise- I’m reminded of the failed shoe bomber every time I have to take my shoes off at airport security.
Experiences of Local Muslims
Mohamed Al-Darsani runs the Islamic Center for Peace in Fort Myers and is a lifelong Muslim. Jeff George, of Cape Coral, converted to Islam in 2003. Both men talked about their experiences before and after 9-11, and how being Muslim affected their experiences.
Hope and Healing after September 11, and Today
The unity of Americans in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 was evident in the waves of people who mourned as the country draped itself in its American flag. An attack on New York, the Pentagon, and in our airspace, ending in a Pennsylvania field, felt like an attack on everyone in this country. Mike Kiniry talks with Florida Gulf Coast University professors, Dr. Maria Roca and Patricia Fay, about how the FGCU community responded to the attacks, and how they brought people together for a day of hope and understanding on November 9th, 2001 (11/9/2001.)
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