BOSTON (CBS) – Families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001 are reflecting on the day 20 years later, including Blake Allison a former Stoneham resident who lost his wife Anna on American Airlines Flight 11. “These were people who wanted to kill Americans and my wife just happened to be in the wrong place,” he tells WBZ-TV.
Two decades later he says the pain of that day has eased, but not the heartbreak of his loss. He questions why in 20 years the five accused of plotting the attacks, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, have not been brought to trial at Guantanamo Bay. “If the government wasn’t seeking the death penalty, if it had taken place in a Manhattan federal courtroom, it would have been over a long time ago and that’s what’s frustrating,” he said.READ MORE: Boston Police Searching For Missing Girl In Mattapan
Carie Lemack lost her mother Judith Larocque on that same flight. “Today our benchmark is different from what makes a good day versus a bad day,” said Lemack.
She spent the years following the attacks fighting to give the families of the victims a voice. “We had to fight for the 9/11 Commission. There was no investigation into the murders of 3,000 people,” Lemack said. “It sounds crazy to say that but it’s actually the truth.”READ MORE: CDC Director Says Trick-Or-Treating Is Safe For Kids This Halloween
Her focus now, she says, is not on how her mother died, but how to appreciate life. “It’s been 20 years since I’ve been able to hug my Mom, for people to be able to hug family members, loved ones and friends,” she said.
The legacy of 9/11 may be different for individuals and families, but most agree it brought the country to a place they feel is different today. “You would hope that we could recover some of what we had in those fleeting moments when there was a great sense of unity,” said Allison.MORE NEWS: Plympton Couple Starring In New HGTV Show On Repairing Historic Homes
“It’s a day of horror for me and family,” said Lemack, “but what’s most important is what’s happened after.” Which, she says, is making sure 9/11 never happens again.