On September 11, 2001, I was driving my daughter Lauren to her morning dance class at Bataille Academie, at their former location by McDonald’s. She was two and a half years old. My son, George, was safely tucked away in the Barrington Hills countryside at St. Mark’s Day School for kindergarten. I had noticed that the roads seemed unusually empty. Sitting with other parents at Bataille was how and when I learned about the attack on the World Trade Center’s north tower. One parent asked what I thought about the situation, but I had no idea. I went out to my car, turned on the radio, and heard that the second tower was hit.
Later that afternoon, I called my dad and asked him if this disaster was reminiscent of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was 12 in 1941, and he recalled that it was of the same magnitude. In the evening, my husband told me that one his closest friends and a business colleague, Jeff Mladenik of Hinsdale, was scheduled for American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles that morning. I asked if Jeff—a husband, father, and ordained pastor—ever ran late or might have missed his flight. He said that Jeff never missed anything. I couldn’t breathe for a week.
In this issue, we remember those who have fallen and share our stories about 9/11. Barrington’s Memorial Park is a salute to our fallen heroes. Barrington native Gary Marlon Suson, Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the Fire Department of New York, is bringing his remarkable photos, artifacts, and audio stories to Barrington to be a museum. Peter Gibbs wrote to us about the incredible journey when his flight from England to Chicago was landed in Montreal on 9/11 because U.S. airspace was closed.
The back-to-school season is upon us, and everyone is hopeful we will soon return to some version of normal. One of the hallmarks of living in the Barrington area is our collective investment to educate our young people to high standards with great teachers, community support, extracurricular activities, and hope for the future. Even though going to school is not always easy with social and other challenges students face, we pull together as a community to help them find their way and persevere. In this issue, we interviewed seven outstanding young adults, the twentysomethings, all graduates of BHS, who are pursuing their dreams. And yes, the young lady on the cover is my daughter Lauren, whose dreams now include a much larger stage.