Over the past couple of weeks on St. Louis on the Air, we've had a handful of conversations about the impact of September 11th on the people of this region. Though we in St. Louis were hundreds of miles away from Ground Zero, the events of that day have changed all of us.
Here's a quick roundup of the conversations you can find in our archives:
- Freelance writer Jason Rosenbaum stopped by to discuss his special series for the St. Louis Beacon, Ten Years Later: Are We Safer? Jason's been reporting on the millions of dollars of Homeland Security money that's been spent here in Missouri. Nick Gragnani, of the St. Louis Regional Response System joined Jason and Host Don Marsh for a conversation about disaster preparedness. Rosenbaum and Gragnani agreed that a lot of regional readiness work remains unfinished. Gragnani concluded, "Are we better off? Yes we are. But we're not there yet."
- Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge joined us to talk about a variety of airport issues, including changing security measures put in place since 9/11.
- Today's young adults were young children with the Towers fell. What's it been like coming of age in a post-9/11 world? How has it shaped their ideas about our nation? About themselves and their goals? We were joined by four local students who've grown up with a new American reality. Hanan Abdel-Rahman was the only Muslim and the only Arab-American in her St. Louis elementary school in September 2001. She remembers a lesson she learned very quickly, "they were watching what they saw on TV. They were associating terrorism with Islam. But when they looked at me...wearing a jijab...I realized at a young age that I had to represent Islam the right way."
- Gitana Productions' new season is dedicated to "provoking emotions, reactions and a conscious decision to pursue life, liberty and justice for all rather than life based on fear and complacency." Their opening production, Inalienable Rights: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11, examines two national tragedies and the racial profiling that happened in the wake of each. We talked with the director about the message of the play and to two local leaders about what it's like to look like a perceived "enemy."