Son of recovery worker David Dangerfield playing football for his father (Kentucky)

Everything happens for a reason.

Words to live by for Western Kentucky senior wide receiver Jared Dangerfield. Words that kept him – and still keep him – focused.

“Everyday. I look down at my tattoo of him every day and think about him,” Jared Dangerfield said softly. “That was his favorite saying, ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ That’s everyday life.”

David Dangerfield, Jared’s father, died unexpectedly of a heart attack in August of 2009. He was a respected community leader and, to many, a hero.

Jared was 16, about to be a senior at Royal Palm Beach High in Florida where the name Dangerfield was synonymous with football. Jared’s brothers Jordan and David Jr. had been his teammates and his brother T.J. had been his coach.

But his father, a former New York firefighter who was among the first responders during the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, wouldn’t be there to watch Jared’s senior season. Read More »

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Foundation honoring 9/11 victim Todd Ouida helps challenged kids

Nicholas Pugliese The Record

NEW YORK — Todd Ouida was working for financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower when a Boeing 767 slammed into his building on September 11, 2001. Having overcome a bout of crippling childhood anxiety only to thrive in high school and college, Todd used his final moments to call his mother to tell her that his father, Herb, who worked 28 floors below, was OK.

Alex (left) and others in the group ride the escalator to the lower level of the museum. They pass two huge steel beams from the World Trade Center. Carmine Galasso, The Record

Alex (left) and others in the group ride the escalator to the lower level of the museum. They pass two huge steel beams from the World Trade Center. Carmine Galasso, The Record

“Here was a kid who suffered from the deepest fears, now in the most dangerous situation of all,” Herb would later say, “and he reached out to take fear away from his mom,”

As a tour guide shared this story and others like it in the plaza outside the 9/11 Memorial on Tuesday morning, something seemed to click for the half-dozen teenagers gathered there who had made the trip from Passaic County to Lower Manhattan. Part of a group from Youth Consultation Services, a statewide organization that provides behavioral and mental health services to children and young adults, the teenagers were finding hope in the midst of tragedy and drawing comparisons to their own lives.

“I’ve been through a lot, seen my brothers go to jail, gone to a group house myself,” said John, 15, whose last name has been withheld to protect his privacy. “I could relate with some of the people here because they’ve been through a lot and they went through a lot of pains, but they still stood their head up.” Read More »

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What was in Osama bin Laden’s tape collection?

Richard Fenton-Smith BBC News Magazine

After the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Osama bin Laden was forced to flee the city of Kandahar, where he had been based since 1997. Several compounds were hastily vacated, including one, opposite the Taliban foreign ministry, where al-Qaeda bigwigs met. Inside it, 1,500 cassettes were waiting to be discovered.

Flagg Miller with the al-Qaeda tapes

Flagg Miller with the al-Qaeda tapes

Picking through the ransacked property, an Afghan family found this haul of audio tapes, which they swiftly removed and took to a local cassette shop – with the Taliban now gone, there was money to be made producing previously banned pop music, and these were ripe for wiping and filling with the hit songs of the day.

But a cameraman working for CNN heard about the haul, and convinced the shop owner to hand the tapes back, saying what they contained could be important. He was right. This was, after all, al-Qaeda’s own audio library.

The tapes eventually made their way to the Afghan Media Project at Williams College in Massachusetts, who asked Flagg Miller – an expert in Arabic literature and culture from the University of California, Davis – to immerse himself in this hotchpotch of sermons, songs and recordings of intimate conversations. He is still the only person to have heard the collection in full. Read More »

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