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Sept. 11: One year after

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Globe and Boston.com coverage from September 11, 2001

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A mother to her son: How could I forget your curiosity and energy?

By Eunice Hanson, for The Associated Press

Dear Peter:

Nine years ago we were happily preparing for your wedding to Sue. Today, your Dad and I are discussing the one-year memorial observance of the deaths of you, Sue and little Christine Lee on Sept. 11.

You and 3,000 others were slaughtered, and now we have been asked to describe our feelings.

You and Sue and Christine are always in our thoughts and hearts ... we miss you so much.

Peter, I still feel the terrible pain that went through my whole being when Dad, holding the phone, heard your last words. As the plane banked and crashed into that tower and exploded in a burst of flame I screamed, for I knew that all the joys we had together, all the care and good times, all the dreams and hopes, were ended.

The thought of the three of you in each other's arms in that final moment will never leave me. They tell me that there could not have been any pain, but you knew what was happening. How could those murderers have looked at the innocent people on the plane, at little Christine, and so cruelly kill? How could their leaders, hidden and protected in a far-off land, laugh and joke about their lack of humanity?

I want them brought to justice, but my feelings are about you. How can I ever forget you? Why would I want to forget you? How could I forget your curiosity and energy? Or your teens, when you would quietly come into my bedroom and ask if I would talk with you? You would pour out your experiences of life, not looking for answers, only wanting to talk. And your dreadlocks which, after you met Sue, you cut off and brought home to me? The Grateful Dead, whose music you loved so much that you convinced your Dad and me to attend some concerts to share the experience.

You moved to Boston to attend university, embraced the city and then met Sue. I remember your calling me from Boston, asking me to help you pick out an engagement ring for her. I remember how you encouraged Sue to go for her Ph.D. in immunology. We loved her so much.

And Christine Lee was and is love personified. The world had no limits for her; she was truly her mom and dad's daughter. To this day, I still expect the phone to ring and hear her voice telling me about her day at school, always closing with, "I love you Namma."

Before that last trip, she told me she was going to California to see her great-grandmother and to see Mickey Mouse and Pluto. And then she said, "I want to go to your house, Namma," and I told her we would see her when she returned.

Peter, people have been kind. Our church and community in Easton; the people of Groton, Mass.; Boston University; the political community; firemen; police; people in the Army; the press; everyone has been so good. And you know, the memorial dedicated to you and Sue and Christine in Groton is so meaningful and the elegy written by Carl Schroeder, "Christine's Lullaby," is so beautiful.

I am sure that you were smiling when Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead called us and dedicated a concert of his new group to you. You all had so many friends, for you and Sue were good friends to so many. Your love was steadfast.

We still need your love and the happy memories of you and Sue and Christine. But oh, how I miss you.

Love,

Mom

EDITOR'S NOTE
Peter Hanson, his wife, Sue Jue Kim-Hanson, and their 2-year-old daughter, Christine, all of Groton, Mass., died on United Airlines Flight 175 when it crashed into the World Trade Center. Peter Hanson, 32, vice president for sales at TimeTrade, used his cell phone to call his parents moments before the plane hit the second tower. After her death, Sue Kim Hanson, 35, was awarded the post-doctoral degree in pathology and immunology she was working toward at Boston University; BU has established an annual lecture to be held on Sept. 11 in her honor. Peter's parents, Eunice and Lee Hanson, live in Easton, Conn. Here, Eunice Hanson shares some thoughts in the form of a letter to her son.

Today's news:
Ceremony at Ground Zero
Mass. remembers victims
Silence, tears mark day at Logan
Under alert, Mass. carries on
Bush faces day with resolve
World remembers attacks in US
Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.
Updated wire coverage

Photo galleries:
Families mourn, remember
Ceremony at Ground Zero
Ceremony at the Pentagon
Ceremony at Pa. crash scene
Remembrances worldwide
Remembrances in Boston

NECN RealVideo:
Moment of silence observed
Ceremony at State House
Gettysburg Address read
Procession at Ground Zero
A somber travel day at Logan
Images of Sept. 11, 2001

 THE SERIES

 DAY ONE   SEPT. 3

Preparing for the worst
Security has become the new norm in Greater Boston.

 DAY TWO   SEPT. 4

Fear and children
Children's responses may shed light on human anxiety, resiliency.

 DAY THREE   SEPT. 5

Muslim minds
The US effort to win over Muslim hearts and minds is failing.

 DAY FOUR   SEPT. 6

Science vs. terrorism
New chemical, biological threats spur nation's top minds.

 DAY FIVE   SEPT. 7

Detainees
For those deported after Sept. 11, the losses are wrenching.

 DAY SIX   SEPT. 8

A special Magazine issue
A Sept. 11 narrative by former Massport chief Virginia Buckingham, plus an essay by Christopher Hitchens.

A special Arts section
How culture has changed since Sept. 11, including a gallery of art inspired by the attacks.

A special Focus section
A look at how the lives of six Americans were altered.

Everywhere USA
Terrorism comes to God's country.

 DAY SEVEN   SEPT. 9

Where is Al Qaeda?
How have bin Laden and his terrorist group eluded US forces?

 DAY EIGHT   SEPT. 10

Two cities
New York and DC one year later.

 DAY NINE   SEPT. 11

America remembers
The US looks back at the terrorist attacks.

Victims and survivors
A year later, still hurting.

A time for bells and remembrance
A clash of views on terror
Limited damage to the economy
Families build support system
NYC's healing process
Finding comfort in the kitchen
Bailey: A day of atonement


From the Associated Press:
Tribute paid with tattoos
Charities changed by 9/11
White House calls home
9/11 stole innocence, love
Man escaped earthquake, 9/11
Update on 9/11's famous faces
Firemen still burying dead
A mother's note to a lost son
9/11 created heroes in death
Voice mails bring comfort
Little things hold memories
87th floor survivor copes
Sampling of 9/11 memorials
Pentagon survivors move on
Moments of silence on Sept. 11
Survivors try to move forward
Families cling to chances
Sept. 11 widow trying to forgive
Widow becomes an advocate
Workplace response varies
Graphic: Funds offer relief





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