News

On reflection: Your neighbors look at Sept. 11

A year after the terrorist attacks on the East Coast, the staff of the Central Kitsap Reporter tried to take the pulse of the community. We have contacted five of your neighbors: two firefighters, the family of a policeman, and a powerful U.S. representative. Here is how they recall Sept. 11, 2001.

THE FIREFIGHTER/EMT: GREG PLATZ

HOW DID I FIND OUT?: “I was at home on the morning of Sept. 11th. I was awake early with my five-month old son, Duncan, when I heard some news on sports radio at about 6:15 a.m. I immediately turned on the TV and was glued to it the rest of the day.”

HOW HAVE I CHANGED?: “I deal with the dangers of this job everyday I'm on duty. Therefore, I'd already made appropriate plans before 9/11. The tragic

deaths of so many FDNY firefighters, unfortunately, almost seems unreal

. . . as if I don't want to believe it really happened. Maybe that is a

classic sign of denial or perhaps the event was so horrific that I just

can't relate it to my job in Central Kitsap. There is no doubt I mourn

the loss of those brothers in New York The bottom line for firefighters is that an average of 100 firefighters die in the line of duty every year, and that is a

fact my family and I realize. Has it changed how I live my life in the short term and long term? I really don't believe that to be the case. Perhaps I wouldn't feel totally secure in traveling to Egypt or some other foreign country, but

with two small kids at home, that's not in the plans right now anyway.”

ARE YOU MORE PATRIOTIC? “I think my personal level of patriotism remains as high as it was prior to the attack. However, I think the outward display of this patriotism has increased, as my home now flies an American flag outside everyday.

DO YOU FEAR ANOTHER ATTACK: “Fear might be too strong of a word; maybe concerned. I know that as a CKFR Firefighter, we have increased our training in areas related to terrorism, explosive devices, biological weapons, etc.”

THE FIREFIGHTER LIEUTENANT: FRANK WILSON

HOW DID I FIND OUT?: “I was getting up starting the morning. We got up turned on the news I saw the towers and thought ‘this looks weird.’

I tried to get my bearings and realized wow this is real.”

Wilson woke up his wife and explained to her what was going on. He called the fire station and asked the guys if they were watching what was going on.

He began feeding tapes into the VCR. By the end of the day he had eight tapes of the day’s events.

HOW HAVE I CHANGED?: “It made me realize that small or large the job we do requires a little more caution. It’s made me more aware we need to be better prepared and evaluate how we’re going to how we are going to deal with an event like this should it happen in this area or neighboring sates.”

ARE YOU MORE PATRIOTIC?: “I’m still very proud of where I’ve been given a chance to live.”

DO YOU FEAR ANOTHER ATTACK?: “I think it’s a real possibility. Will it? I’m not sure.”

THE CONGRESSMAN: NORM DICKS

HOW DID I FIND OUT?: “I was in a House Appropriation Committee meeting with Majority Leader Dick Gephard, when we heard the first tower had been attacked. When the second tower was hit, we knew right away it was a terrorist attack. I told the people in the room, we are a target too. We left the building. I called my office and told everybody to go home.”

HOW HAVE I CHANGED ?: “As the building collapsed and you saw the people jumping out of the building, it was absolutely the most horrific thing that I have ever seen in my life. I have noticed the extremely enhanced security in D.C. and on my twice monthly trips to the district.”

ARE YOU MORE PATRIOTIC?: “The whole nation was inspired by what happened in New York City and we need to remain inspired.”

DO YOU FEAR ANOTHER ATTACK?: “It’s in the back of everyone’s mind. The odds are, we probably will.”

THE COP’S FAMILY:

Ricki Sipple, wife of KCSO deputy Sgt. Steve Sipple and mother of a pair of teenagers, said life has changed after Sept. 11, 2001.

For one thing, she lost her job when The Keg closed in East Bremerton. She said the restaurant shut down as a result of the nationwide economic slump, blamed on the terrorist attacks.

She’s been staying at home taking care of the couple’s kids — Ian, 17, and Stevie, 13. Ian attends Central Kitsap High School and Stevie attends CK Junior High. The family lives in Chico on Erlands Point.

Mrs. Sipple said she has mixed emotions thinking about the infamous day.

“You feel sad” remembering the event and knowing it’s been a year already, but “You also feel glad a year’s gone by” and that people are putting the event behind them.

But that was not the case last Sept. 11.

Ian had just awakened and was getting ready for school. He switched on the TV, and couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“It was on every channel,” he said.

Stevie said she first found out about it at school in her first period class.

“The TV was on. It was my history class.

How well does the family think President Bush responded?

“I don’t think (George W.) Bush did the right thing, or anything useful,” Ricki said. “I would rather have seen a full-scale war to resolve the problem” of terrorism, once and for all. “It’s not about Afghanistan, it’s about Saudi Arabia and Iraq” and wherever terrorists are hiding or being supported.

As for today’s anniversary?

“I have no apprehensions,” she said. “I’d get on a plane,” Ricki said. “I don’t think any of us should stop living our lives because of what someone else did.”

Her son Ian said “It all seemed to die down after a while. Now they’re talking about it again, coming up on the first anniversary.”

He agreed with his mother.

“We should wage a full-out war until it’s resolved.... Makes me want to join the military.”

The couple’s daughter said “It’s impacted everybody’s life. When it first happened it was a shock ... but hopefully we’re going to get through it alright.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Dec 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates