Wed, Sep 12, 2018 - Page 7 News List

9/11 prompted some New Yorkers to move for new lives

AP, NEW YORK

On Sept. 11, 2001, Stephen Feuerman saw the World Trade center aflame through the window of his Empire State Building office and watched, transfixed, as a second fireball burst from the twin towers.

He ran through the 78th floor urging everyone to get out, thinking their skyscraper could be next. With transit hubs shut down, he could not get home to his family in suburban Westchester for hours.

Shaken by the experience, the apparel broker, his wife and their two small children moved within four months to a gracious South Florida suburb they figured would be safer than New York.

So it was until this past Valentine’s Day, when mass violence tore into Parkland, Florida, too.

“There really is no safe place,” says Feuerman, whose children survived, but lost friends in the massacre that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

He still feels the family made a good move after 9/11, and he feels all the more attached to Parkland since the shooting plunged him into a whirlwind of events and advocacy on school safety and other issues.

“We’ve had a good life here,” he says. “And again, this could have happened anywhere.”

The Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks prompted the Feuermans and an uncounted number of others to move quietly away from their lives near the hijacked-plane strikes that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York City, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

Some sought safety. Some placed a new importance on living near family.

Others re-evaluated what they wanted from life.

As the attacks’ 17th anniversary approached, The Associated Press caught up with some who left and asked: Have they found what they were looking for?

WAKE-UP CALL

About 30 weeks a year, Scott Dacey drives from his home near New Bern, North Carolina, to Washington for a few days.

The 563km trips are a price the federal lobbyist pays for peace of mind after Sept. 11.

He and his wife, Jennifer, once expected to stay in the Washington area for years.

Then came the strike on the Pentagon and the new feeling of living under heavy security in northern Virginia.

“It really made us have a wake-up call: ‘How do we want to live our lives?’” Scott said. “Do we want to be up here in this rat race of Washington, DC?”

The couple’s 2002 move meant extra costs, including a Washington apartment.

Jennifer, a lawyer, had to take a second bar exam in North Carolina.

However, the move also opened new opportunities.

Scott is a county commissioner and ran for Congress; a Republican, he never considered seeking office when they lived in Democratic-leaning northern Virginia.

Their children, now 17 and 15, grew up in a town ranked among the state’s safest.

“It would not be for everybody, but for us, it’s been the right fit,” Jennifer said. “We’re outside the bubble, and this is how America really lives.”

A BETTER WAY

There had to be a better way to live, Michael and Margery Koveleski thought.

A furniture designer, Michael sensed emotional burnout surrounding him as he worked in lower Manhattan after 9/11.

Security measures lengthened his commute from Queens, devouring his time with the children.

Then, two months after the terror attacks, American Airlines Flight 587 crashed near the Koveleskis’ home, killing 265 people.

The next spring they moved to Springfield, Ohio, where they had church friends.

If a better way, it was not always smooth.

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