It’s been a year now since that horrific morning in September, yet the TV images are still vivid. And every day, we are reminded that Baltimore, like the nation, has changed in a thousand ways, from airport security and concrete barriers around landmarks to new postal rules. But I continue to marvel at the way Marylanders have responded to the crisis, both publicly and privately.
Privately, there has been patience with the new rules and the longer security lines, a continuing outpouring of generosity for the 3,000 victims’ families, and a widespread desire not to see our society eroded by ethnic stereotyping. At the same time, our public servants have heeded the wake-up call of Sept. 11 by working together like never before.
One example is Baltimore’s Anti-Terrorism Task Force, which has brought together 225 representatives of 125 federal, state, and local agencies, from port security to immigration. It includes such officials as Assistant U.S. Attorney Harvey Eisenberg, Maryland National Guard Assistant Adjutant Gen. Warner Sumpter, City Police Commissioner Ed Norris, and IRS criminal investigation special agent Vicki Duane (you’ll recall it was the “revenuers” who finally bagged Al Capone), plus MTA officials, customs inspectors, and fire chiefs, all focused on sharing intelligence and responding to threats.
“There are so many disparate groups that need to engage in this battle, and we have brought them together with a minimum of turf battles,” Eisenberg told us recently. “In our effort to get our arms around the problem, and figure out what we don’t know, we have never gotten ‘no’ for an answer from any of these people.”
In the issue this month, we offer a roundup of anniversary events that shows Baltimoreans are still focused on this crisis, banding together to help victims’ families and to support our troops and other public servants on the front lines of the war on terrorism.
Of course, the big challenge we faced a year ago was to get on with our lives and work, to go to the theater again, or go out to eat. We continue to encourage that, and offer a complete look this month at the upcoming arts season plus a roundup of of our favorite sources of delivered foods. Then, we visit with the town doctor and other local characters in historic Union Bridge, a tiny, Mayberry-like town that’s now face to face with suburban sprawl; examine the startling success rate of the AS Abell Foundation’s 6-year-old Baraka School in Kenya; take a trip through the C&O Canal and the Paw Paw Tunnel, a beautiful 19th-century boondoggle that wanders through a mountain; check out the latest fall fashions; and help kick off the new Ravens season with a profile of Matt Stover.
Finally, those awards keep on coming: Two Baltimore story designs were chosen as regional winners from among 30,000 entries in an annual competition held by national graphic design magazine Print. They were the air-pollution feature “Bad Air Days,” designed by Art Director Amanda Laine White-Iseli, illustrator Edem Elesh, contributing photographer Nicholas McIntosh and production manager Jon Timian. The second was the TV-ratings story “Good Morning, Baltimore,” designed by White-Iseli, Director of Photography David Colwell, and Timian.