The 10th anniversary of 9/11 has sparked renewed interest toward a haunting time in modern history. With all that’s happened the past 10 years related to the terrorist attacks of 2001, it still seems like only yesterday that we all were watching those terrible images of commercial airliners flying into buildings, towers collapsing and grief-stricken people all across America — and the world — mourning the victims.
It truly was a day that changed a nation, even the world. That, more than any other reason, is why we as a country are preparing to give so much attention to this landmark anniversary.
Our news reporters and editors have been planning special coverage of the anniversary the past two months. The fruits of their work will be published Saturday in a special section commemorating 9/11 and its 10-year anniversary in the Tribune-Star and on Tribstar.com.
But that’s not the only presentation we have planned.
In late July, columnist/feature writer Mark Bennett set out with his wife, Teri, and teenage daughter, Mari, on what he called a “Great American Road Trip” to visit the three sites where terrorists flying hijacked planes struck on 9/11 — Ground Zero in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a remote field near Shanksville, Pa.
Mark, Teri and Mari spent the better part of two weeks touring the sites, talking with people they encountered there, taking pictures and videos, and experiencing the 9/11 saga in a uniquely personal way.
The product of Mark’s travels will be published in a three-part series beginning Friday. Titled “Walking in the Shadows of 9/11,” the series will tell moving and poignant stories through the words of people whose lives are forever entwined with the events of that day. Friday’s opening installment will feature New York City; Saturday will feature the Pentagon; and the series will culminate Sunday featuring Shanksville, Pa.
There will be an online component to the series as well. Mark, with assistance from Teri and Mari, brought back several hours of video and audio recordings, as well as a large photo portfolio.
Photojournalist Rachel Keyes, who is also a talented videographer and video editor, has been working with Mark’s material, creating three short documentaries, one for each of the series’ three parts. They will be posted online at Tribstar.com as the series is published.
Prior to Friday’s series kickoff, Mark will write about his personal experiences and observations in a Thursday column, then again in a column on Sunday’s Perspective cover page.
Readers already know Mark’s award-winning work quite well. He has been a member of our newsroom staff since 1985, serving in a number of roles through the years, including a long stint as sports editor. He took on the position of columnist and feature writer in 2004. He also writes editorials and is a member of the editorial board.
Mark is a graduate of Terre Haute South Vigo High School and holds degrees in journalism and economics from Indiana State University. He makes his home in Prairieton. Teri is a teacher in the Vigo County School Corp., and Mari is a student at Terre Haute South. Mark and Teri also have two sons, Graham, a recent Purdue grad, and Paul, a student at ISU.
“Walking in the Shadows of 9/11” will showcase Mark’s journalistic talents in many ways. He is a valued member of our newsroom staff and we are proud to be able to feature his work prominently during this special time. As always, we welcome your feedback.
Max Jones can be reached at (812) 231-4336, or by e-mail at email@example.com.