Each week, WAMU 88.5's Metro Connection reaches across D.C., Maryland and Virginia to gather the sounds and stories that capture the current events, culture and personalities driving the Washington region.
We pause this week to remember the day our city and nation changed forever: September 11, 2001. We'll meet a man who survived the attack on the Pentagon, and another who took on the monumental task of rebuilding the iconic structure. We'll hear from military families and the local Muslim community, and hit the streets to talk with residents about their memories of that historic day.
[Music: "Walking: by John Davis / "Aidos" by Bexar Bexar from Haralambos]
Lt. Col. Robert Grunewald was in the middle of a routine meeting at the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building. The two men on either side of him perished, and Grunewald escaped only by crawling on his hands and knees through corridors on fire. Grunewald talks with Rebecca Sheir about his story of disaster, heartbreak and, ultimately, hope.
[Music: "KT" by Bexar Bexar from Haralambos / "Pay Attention" by Bexar Bexar from Haralambos]
Fairfax County fire battalion chief Ed Brinkley was one of the hundreds of emergency responders who rushed to the Pentagon after it was attacked. He helped lead his internationally recognized urban search and rescue team, Virginia Task Force 1, in a desperate search for survivors. Now, 10 years later, he tells Marc Adams about that day and what made it different from any disaster he and his colleagues have responded to before or since.
Military families feel the impact of September 11th every day -- especially those with members who've been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Kavitha Cardoza visits Middle High School at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia to talk with students and teachers about the attacks and the ripple effects they continue to have on military families.
[Music: ""Comptine D'un Autre Ete: L'apres Midi" by Yann Tiersen from Amelie]
In the 10 years since 9/11, Muslims in Northern Virginia have seen as much scrutiny from federal law enforcement and the national media as any community in the country. And that attention has forced Muslim groups to evolve and adapt. Jonathan Wilson visits a local mosque to find out how this community has changed, and how Muslims are approaching the upcoming anniversary of 9/11.
[Music: "We Insist" by Zoe Keating from One Cello x 16: Natoma]
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Reagan National Airport was shuttered for 23 days while new security measures were implemented. Jim Hilgen speaks with local airport officials about that shut down, and the new measures that were put in place. He also takes the pulse of travelers, finding out their views on whether air travel is safer -- or just more inconvenient.
[Music: "Breathe Me" by Sia from Colour the Small One]
When Flight 77 hit Wedge One of the Pentagon, the area was five days away from being completely renovated. Walker Lee Evey managed "The Phoenix Project," a year-long endeavor to rebuild the Pentagon after the crash. Rebecca Sheir tours the building with Evey, who credits the project's success to efficiency, teamwork and the commitment of the hardest-working, most passionate people he says he's ever known.
Ten years after the attacks on the U.S., September 11th is still a day of mourning. But what if that date is also the day you were born? Emily Friedman speaks with local residents about what it's like to celebrate your special day on our country's most solemn anniversary.
September 11, 2001 is now seen as an epic day: one that swept the world and rewrote history books. But many people have more personal stories - especially when it comes to loved ones they lost. Sarah Clark, a 65-year-old teacher from Columbia, Md., was engaged to John Milton Wesley, an author and communications specialist. They had been together for seven years, and friends for twenty, when Clark died in the plane crash at the Pentagon. Rebecca Blatt talks with Wesley about how he honors...
We kick off the holiday weekend with a look at the world of work and labor. We'll meet people who toil deep under the city streets to keep Washington running, and hear from a man with a job that hearkens back to a much earlier era. Plus, we'll find out why the local film industry is booming, and chat with the road warriors who brave Washington traffic for a living.
The latest unemployment data show that the jobless rate in the District is now at its highest rate in decades. But that number obscures as much as it reveals. In some neighborhoods, the number of people looking for work is negligible; in other areas, the unemployment rate approaches 25 percent. Sabri Ben-Achour checks in with a local economist for an explanation of this unemployment imbalance and what it means for the city's future.
A new barbering school known as "54th and Cutz" is working with young men in some of Northeast D.C.'s most troubled neighborhoods. The school is housed in the Richardson Dwellings public housing community, and serves teens who've been through the juvenile justice system. Kavitha Cardoza explores the role barbers play in the African-American community and meets some of the apprentices at 54th and Cutz.
[Music: "Barbershop" by Tom Waits from Foreign Affairs]
The prize is sometimes called the "Nobel Prize for food and agriculture." And this year's winners include Monsanto executive Robert Fraley, a pioneer in genetically engineered crops. If there's a single person who personifies the company's controversial role in American agriculture, it's probably Fraley.
Against a backdrop that evoked the Cold War, President Obama renewed his push to reduce the world's nuclear stockpiles on Wednesday. Obama delivered an address outside the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. He also meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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