COVID-19 pandemic forces change for Boston 9/11 observances

COVID-19 pandemic forces change for 9/11 observances

BOSTON — September 11, 2001. Nineteen years later it is a day that still haunts our collective memory.

In Boston, where two of the hijacked planes originated, it is a day of Remembrance and Reflection.

A day to honor bold sacrifice, a day to mourn all who were lost.

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“We can’t let them ever be forgotten. We have to put a story behind the name and a face,” Karin Charles, Chairman of the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund’s Family Advisory Committee told me.

On Sept. 11, Karin lived in New Jersey with her husband, Ken, and their two children.

“He was on the 99th floor of the North Tower. He went off to work that day, that was it,” she remembers.

Stephanie Holland lost her mother on 9/11.

Cora Holland was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, the first hijacked plane that crashed into the World Trade Center.

“She was flying to Southern California, that’s where we are originally from, to visit my grandmother who was blind,” Stephanie told me.

“I don’t think she would want us to worry, so we never got a chance to say goodbye,” Stephanie said.

Both Stephanie Holland and Karin Charles sit on the Family Advisory Committee for the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing some changes to the way Remembrance Day will be observed.

For example, at the Public Garden, there will be no Wreath Ceremony on 9/11 itself. Instead, the ceremony was pre-recorded last week. On Friday, it will be played back at a ceremony at the State House.

Also this year, there is a call for people to perform random acts of kindness. For Stephanie Holland, it’s 9/11′s legacy. “For me, that’s the only legacy I choose to accept because I think that’s what my mom would have wanted. I think that’s what we can grow from,” Stephanie said.

COVID-19 will ensure September 11, 2020, will be different, but it will not be forgotten.

"I cry a lot about it, " Karin Charles said. “It will never leave my soul. It will always be a part of me.”

COVID-19 pandemic forces change for 9/11 observances

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