Jul 28, 2014

Essay: We Remember Sept. 11

Northfield's Katie Sweeney shares her recollections on Sept. 11, 2001.

Essay: We Remember Sept. 11

I had just returned home from working the midnight shift as a dispatcher for the Glencoe Department of Public Safety.

My first thought was to check on my husband. He was an officer with Glencoe, but had recently suffered a back injury while on duty and was awaiting an upcoming surgery date. I found him awake and watching TV and told me of the breaking news that the World Trade Center was on fire. 

As I went about my morning routine, I was thinking of those who worked in those buildings. I had previously worked for Guy Carpenter [a subsidiary of Marsh/Mac] and had been to the World Trade Center on a business trip. The buildings were beautiful, the restaurant breathtaking, the people so welcoming – were they going to be OK?  My husband called me from the TV room of our home – another plane had crashed into the second tower – it was thought to be a terrorist attack.

I sat with my husband and watched, in horror, as the other events around our country occurred. 

We cried together, felt helpless. I called my mom’s house as it was my stepfathers birthday. 

They also were devastated by what was happening to our country. Old feelings rose in them as they had lived through the attack on Pearl Harbor so many years ago.

How could this be happening?

My husband had his surgery, but could not return to work as a police officer and firefighter. We hung a flag on the Edens Expressway overpass on the Winnetka Avenue fence – it was all that he could do at that time to show his support for his fellow officers who died that day. 

My stepfather no longer celebrates his birthday. It was a day that changed our lives as a family and a country – a day that we will never forget.

Katie Sweeney
Northfield, Illinois


The Ten Year 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in Winnetka is Sept. 11 at 1:00 p.m. on the .

Northfield's service is at the facility at 1800 Winnetka Rd. at 8:30 a.m. President Fred Gougler speaks at 8:50 a.m.

The Village of Glencoe's commemoration is at 7:45 a.m. at the flag pole on the corner of Vernon and Lincoln Avenues.

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