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9/11 13 Years Later and the Importance of '110 Stories'

9/11 13 Years Later and the Importance of '110 Stories'

It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since that horrific terrorist attack on American soil.That day on 9/11 in 2001, four coordinated attacks were made on our nation, including theunforgettably, frighteningly horrible fall of the Twin Towers at NYC’s World Trade Center.I was lucky: I worked in Tower Two of the WTC for five years before moving to California.My cousin Fred was not: a bond trader at Canter Fitzgerald on the 106th floor of Tower One,he was one of the thousands of innocent people who never made it home that day; one of thethousands of lives needlessly lost forever.

I think of him and all the innocent people who lost their lives on that tragic day.More than three thousand people, mostly but not all Americans, died in that tragic attack. Theentire world has changed as a result of 9/11 and the lives of all Americans changed from thatday.

Many Americans, especially those under the age of 20, don’t understand the gravity of emotion,fear, and anger we experienced that sad day. Tell a teenager what it was like getting on anairplane without taking off your shoes and they’ll think you’re from Mars. Many may not knowwhy it happened, how it happened, or even who masterminded that destructive day that hasaffected the heart and soul of Americans and other free peoples, all over the world.

For my cousin Fred, for those teenagers, for those who served with courage and gave theultimate sacrifice and for the future of our country: those are some of the reasons my friendand former Marine Arleigh Dotson and I are producing Sarah Tuft’s powerful play 110 Storieson Thursday, September 11 at 7:30 pm at the James R. Armstrong Theater in Torrance.As we did successfully last year, we’re presenting the play as a staged reading, giving the actorsthe opportunity to let the powerful personal dialogues of 9/11 survivors tell their unforgettablymoving stories.

110 Stories shares the emotions, experiences, and fears of those who survived the worst attackon American soil since Pearl Harbor in 1941. Featuring playwright Sara Tuft’s superb writingwe will tell the stories and portray the lives of the survivors with a great cast that includesDean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Out of Time, Beverly Hills 90210),Elya Baskin (Air Force One, Spiderman 2 & 3) and Lee Purcell (Valley Girl, Big Wednesday,Persons Unknown).

We also want to honor and support the men & women in our Armed Forces. They are calledupon to selflessly protect our American way of life, our freedom, and the liberties most of ustake for granted, so proceeds from Thursday night’s performance will benefit two excellentlocal non-profit organizations: Politiquest, which benefits voters with non-partisan debates andvoter information, and Operation Gratitude, which serves our men and women in the Armed Forces in active combat theaters worldwide with thousands of care packages each year.

Everyone involved in the production is contributing their time, resources, and energies forthe very same reason: to remember and honor the lives of the people who died that day. Forthe cast, the producers, the show staff and management, and the audience too, it’s a time whenindividuals come together to be part of a memorial and memorable performance for those whowere lost.

We are producing the play again this year because we will never forget what happened thatday, we will never stop honoring the innocents who died on 9/11 and continue to remindourselves of the American values that are at the heart of what makes our country great. Wewant to educate every generation of our youth about this horrific and historic event and toalways remember and honor the lives lost from that day.

For more information about the performance this week, visit http://www.itsmyseat.com/110Stories

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