An America Forever Changed
by Maureen Gillum
September 11, 2001, was likely the most horrific and powerfully unifying event the United States has ever faced. Nearly 3,000 people were brutally killed by the four collective flights that 19 terrorists used to obliterate New York City’s Twin Towers and attack the Pentagon in Washington. The last hijacked jetliner (United Airlines Flight 93), believed to be directed at a Washington, D.C., landmark, was fortunately thwarted in the last moments, and crashed in a Pennsylvania field, thanks to the bravery of its passengers. President Bush called Flight 93, “America’s first victory against terrorism,” but heralded “the war is not over,” in his national address Monday night. For weeks and months, Americans mourned, cleaned up, pulled together, and prayed, perhaps like no other time before or since.
Five years later, life goes on. The changes are significant, but sometimes intangible among the tears and triumphs of 9/11. It has impacted American civil liberties, indeed Americans’ psyche and outlook. "You just have to assume the worst now,” shared John Werth, a veteran FAA Flight Controller who handled United Flight 93, in a CBS report. CBS’ new anchor, Katie Couric, also reported, since September 11, 2001, the U. S. government has spent $250 billion on homeland security measures; and another $432 billion (and the lives of nearly 3,000 U. S. military) in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What has become known simply as ‘9/11,’ remains a chilling day of infamy no one born before the mid-1990s will likely ever forget. But just in case anyone needs help remembering, Hudson’s Roland “Sonny” and Sue Cormier of 71 Melendy Drive have built a “growing annual 9-11 tribute” in their well-cared-for corner lot. “It is a memorial for all the people who died that day,” reported Sonny with somber sincerity as he turned on the display’s apt accompanying music (God Bless America), “It’s also to keep my promise I made to my sister (Darlene Kinney of Dracut, Massachusetts), so that no one will ever forget her son, and my nephew, Brian.”
Cormier’s nephew, the handsome 28-year old Brian K. Kinney (born 6-7-73), died September 11 on United Airlines Flight 175 at 9:03 a.m. The Boston to Los Angeles flight had 65 people on board and crashed into the south tower of New York City’s World Trade Center, about 15 minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 plane hit the north tower. Before that, Brian and his wife, Allison, lived in Lowell, Massachusetts. He worked as an accountant for Price Waterhouse and was traveling for business that morning. “Brian was always a nice, polite kid,” recalled Sonny, the Hudson proprietor of Roland’s Carpet Cleaning Service. “He also had a great sense of humor, and just loved to be a joker.”
Brian Kinney was one of a dozen people from this region killed on that fateful day, according to CNN.com’s memorial web site (www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/memorial). Other locals include Hudson’s Beechwood Road resident, 42-year-old David Kovalchin, a Raytheon senior mechanical engineer who was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11; he tragically left behind his wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, Rebecca and Marina, then just 4 and 1, respectively. As found on Kovalchin’s tribute page, he left a note for his family when he left early that clear, crisp Tuesday morning: "Rebecca, Marina and Mommy, I will miss everybody very much. See you Friday night.” At the end he added, "I fed the dogs but not the fish."
Still others who lost their lives with local ties included Charles Jones, 48, who worked in Hudson and lived in Bedford, Massachusetts, who was also on board Flight 11. American Airline pilot of Flight 11, John Ogonowski, 52, of Dracut, also met his fate that day. A graduate of Nashua High (1949) and University of New Hampshire professor emeritus, Robert LeBlanc, died on United 175. Other New Hampshire residents of Flight 11 included Thelma Cuccinello (71, Wilmot); Carol Flyzik (40, Plaistow); co-pilot, Tom McGuinness (42, Portsmouth); and Douglas Stone (54, Dover). Locals lost with Kinney on Flight 175 included Carl Max Hammond, Jr. (37, Derry); Neil Mariani (59, Derry); and Michael (63) and Kathleen (61) Shearer of Dover.
As a town, Hudson proudly honored the victims and heroes of September 11 at its special five-year commemoration on Monday night, as detailed in Doug Robinson’s related Hudson~Litchfield News article. As a nation, Americans solemnly reflected this week on the day that forever changed America; we also look forward, with an emphasis on renewed hope and unity, to rebuild the “holes” not only at ground zero, but in our lives and hearts.
Multiple Fire Departments Respond
to Two-alarm Fire in Hudson
Hudson Fire Department plus eight engines, one ladder, and 26 emergency responders from Nashua, Londonderry, Litchfield, Windham, and Derry, and Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, fire departments responded to a two-alarm fire at the home of Gary and Cecile Wright of Sycamore Street on Sunday, September 10.
A considerable amount of damage was done to the ranch style house. The bulk of the main fire damage was to the rear of the building inside of a tub room computer room, and a bedroom. The homeowners were alerted to the fire after hearing the activation of their smoke detectors and were able to evacuate the home without injury. The fire is not suspicious and is still under investigation.
Hudson Senior Housing Article Passes
Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment No. 1 as proposed by the Planning Board for the Town Zoning Ordinance as follows?
Amend Article XIII, Housing for Older Persons, by limiting Older Persons Housing Developments to the R-2, TR and G Zoning Districts, and by further providing that Housing for Older Persons shall have town water and town sewer, and for housing for those 62 years of age or older have a buildable land area of 7,500 square feet per bedroom and for housing for those 55 years of age or older have a buildable area of 10,000 square feet per bedroom, and a minimum tract size for any such development of 10 acres. And, further to amend the Table of Permitted Principal Uses to limit Housing for Older Persons to the R-2, TR and G Zoning Districts. (Approved by the Planning Board)
Hudson State Representative Election Results
For State Representative
Jean-Guy J. Bergeron 396
Ralph G. Boehm 246
Leon Calawa, Jr. 263
Lars T. Christiansen 369
Rocky B. Desilets 175
Eric P. Estevez 185
Peter R. Goyette, Jr. 336
Robert “Bob” Haefner 330
Stephen D. Hellwig 213
Shawn N. Jasper 383
James Lawrence 284
Rudy Lessard 320
Lynne Ober 327
Russell T. Ober III 316
Andrew Renzullo 339
Jordan Ulery 305
For State Representative
Brian Ballou 235
Roland Bergeron 269
James M. Caron 238
Ann Clark-Balcom 241
Richard Ingram 230
John Knowles 269
Mary Ann Knowles 274
Harold “Hal” Lynde 226
Shaun T. McGuire 224
Vivian L. McGuire 237
Kevin P. Riley 242
Joseph A. Wozniak 269
Litchfield State Representative Election Results
For State Representative
Jean-Guy J. Bergeron 128
Ralph G. Boehm 128
Leon Calawa, Jr. 158
Lars T. Christiansen 106
Rocky B. Desilets 73
Eric P. Estevez 75
Peter R. Goyette, Jr. 106
Robert “Bob” Haefner 96
Stephen D. Hellwig 67
Shawn N. Jasper 117
James Lawrence 89
Rudy Lessard 84
Lynne Ober 121
Russell T. Ober III 110
Andrew Renzullo 101
Jordan Ulery 96
For State Representative
Brian Ballou 67
Roland Bergeron 79
James M. Caron 63
Ann Clark-Balcom 63
Richard Ingram 62
John Knowles 63
Mary Ann Knowles 69
Harold “Hal” Lynde 58
Shaun T. McGuire 59
Vivian L. McGuire 63
Kevin P. Riley 62
Joseph A. Wozniak 66
Southern Hillsborough County CyberSafe Task Force Makes Arrests
A press conference took place September 7 at the Hudson Police Department to inform the general public and the media of a newly created Southern Hillsborough County CyberSafe Task Force involving the following police agencies: Brookline, Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department, Hollis, Hudson, Litchfield, Merrimack, Nashua, Pelham, and the New Hampshire State Police, under the direction of Hillsborough County Attorney Marguerite Wageling.
Through proactive investigations, trained investigators from the task force, posing as juveniles on the Internet were able to identify and arrest sexual predators who were intending to meet with young children for the purpose of engaging sex. At the press conference, the names and addresses of those individuals arrested were shared with the media.
In attendance were New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, Count Attorney Marguerite Wageling, Hillsborough Sheriff Jim Hardy, and police chiefs from the Hillsborough County.
The Chiefs of Police of Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Sheriff James Hardy, New Hampshire State Police, and Hillsborough County Attorney Marguerite L. Wageling announced that an Internet Crime Task Force known as the Southern Hillsborough County CyberSafe Task Force (SHCCTF or Task Force), was created to combat crimes against children. The Task Force was created in August of this year and charged with the mission of combating Internet crimes against children with a specific focus on those individuals who use the Internet to:
The task force is also charged with educating the public, especially parents and children about these dangers and the extent to which these activities occur on the Internet. Representatives from the task force have committed to being available to speak at schools and community/civic groups about Internet safety.
SHCCTF is currently composed of members of seven local police departments, the New Hampshire State Police, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department. The head of the task force is Hillsborough County Sheriff Hardy. Hillsborough County Attorney Wageling and members of her staff have provided assistance to the group and will handle the prosecution of task force cases.
The task force is the brainchild of Hudson Police Department Chief Richard Gendron. The initial meetings were held at the Hudson Police Station with multiple follow-up meetings and training at the Nashua Police Department, courtesy of Nashua Chief Timothy Hefferan.
To date, 15 investigators from the member departments have been deputized by Hardy and are actively and cooperatively investigating numerous individuals. The Chief Investigator is Detective Richard Mello of the Hollis Police Department. Detective Mello has investigated multiple Internet cases over the past several years resulting in over 20 arrests. Hollis Police Chief Russell Ux graciously provided Detective Mello’s time and expertise to the task force.
After several weeks of training and organization, the task force began operations in late August. Between August 24 and 25, the task force made five arrests, which are detailed below. Three of those individuals appeared at locations in Hudson and Nashua for pre-arranged meetings with what the suspects believed to be minors. The task force has since made two other arrests. One of those suspects appeared in Hollis for a pre-arranged meeting with a minor. Additional arrests are expected. To date, those arrested include an individual on parole from the New Hampshire State Prison for armed robbery, an EMT employed by Rockingham Ambulance Service, and a professor from the University of New Hampshire.
In just one week of investigation, 85 individuals or “screen names” have engaged in conversation with undercover investigators posing as minors. Some of those individuals have provided identifying information or forwarded pictures of their body parts that will lead to their arrest. The individuals currently under investigation came from each of the New England states and New York.
In addition, the task force has and will continue to conduct what are known as “knock and talks” with those individuals who have engaged in behavior that, although not technically criminal, has caused concern to the investigators.
The following individuals have been arrested and charged with one or more counts of “Certain Uses of Computer Services Prohibited,” a class B felony punishable by up to three and a half to seven years at the New Hampshire State Prison and/or “Obscenity,” a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months incarceration at the Hillsborough County House of Correction:
Over the course of the last two years, the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office has prosecuted more than 20 cases involving individuals who have used the Internet to abuse or attempt to abuse children. With one exception for a case that is on appeal, every single case has resulted in a conviction. Also with one exception, every defendant has received at least 30 days in jail. The average sentence spans from three to six months in jail. Conviction for Certain Uses of Computers Prohibited requires a defendant to register as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life.
Parents and children, teenagers in particular, should he aware that those under investigation by the task force were not in “chat rooms” reserved for sexual matters but rather in generic chat rooms offered by various Internet providers. Many of the suspects asked if the child wanted to see their “cam” (short for web camera) and then often without warning images would appear. Within 15 minutes of the initiation of daily operations, investigators were sent live unsolicited images of men masturbating.
The suspects under investigation often requested photos, preferably nude photos or web cam images of the child. Although the age of the child is often the first question asked during the chats, the 85 individuals under investigation continued to talk with the child after being informed of the minor child's age. The conversation quickly turned sexual in nature frequently with images such as indicated above being sent or requested. Many suspects asked detailed questions not only about the child's sexual experiences but also about whether mom and/or dad were at home, and questions to determine the availability of the child. Quite often individuals requested to speak live with the child via cell phone. Some even provided their cell phone numbers. Most requested to be put on the child’s “buddy list,” thereby allowing ready contact with the child.
All parents are encouraged to place all computers in locations of high traffic within the home, and to limit and monitor their child's computer and cell phone access, even while their child is at home,
For further questions, contact Chief Gendron at 886-6011 or County Attorney Marguerite Wageling at the County Attorney's Office in Manchester at 627-5605.