St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

9/11 Letters

Published September 10, 2006

They grow up, very carefully
Where were you?
Facing a world without CeeCee: Day four
A multimedia gallery of faces of Tampa Bay men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Go to gallery
It's Your Times: Share your thoughts

THURSDAY: Facing a world without CeeCee
By Meg Laughlin
For a Florida family, the events that shook the nation were very personal and would be felt long beyond one infamous day.
Go to article

A Times reader shares how she was affected by 9/11: Life changes

FRIDAY: Facing a world without CeeCee:
Day Two

By Meg Laughlin
CeeCee Lyles was the glue that held her family together. When her plane crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, the family fell apart.
Go to article

Travelers now shrug off terror's price
By Michael Kruse
Early resistance to the inconveniences of security checks has given way to acceptance.
Go to article
A Times reader shares how she was affected by 9/11: History adds clouds of doubt for future

SATURDAY: Faith's friction
By Sherri Day
A Tampa woman who lost eight relatives in the attacks converts to Islam as tensions simmer from the memories and new terror plots. But she presses on.
Go to article

Facing a world without CeeCee:
Day Three

By Meg Laughlin
CeeCee Lyles' family broke apart after her death on 9/11. Time did not heal, it only seemed to separate them further.
Go to article

MONDAY: "This is my job," a flight attendant says. "This is what I do. You've got to get on with it."

Cut off from the news of the world

My husband and I went to the Tuscany region of Italy and it was our first trip abroad. Although we had a wonderful time staying in a villa in Arezzo, we were cut off from the rest of the world because we had no TV, phone or English newspaper.

On Sept. 11, 2001, we were in the town of Arezzo and were crossing the street when I was struck by a car in the crosswalk and thrown in the air, coming down on my back and sliding up the street a short distance on the back of my head.

I was conscious, but had a huge lump on the back of my head. When the ambulance came, the attendants did not speak English and I was frightened to go to he hospital not knowing what they would be doing. My husband agreed to watch me for any signs of a concussion as we would be leaving in two days. So that next morning we took a train to the Malpensa Airport. We had been on the train some time before the Italian family asked us in broken English if we would be able to leave for U.S.

We had no idea what he was talking about until he showed us an Italian paper. We were terrified because we believed we were at war. It was much later that night before we got the information in full from a U.S. couple at the hotel. We, of course, were unable to leave for five days after we were initially supposed to leave.

When we landed in N.Y. we saw the hole where the twin towers had been and the smoke still rising from it. I don't think there was a dry eye on the plane and I don't think I ever loved my country as much as I did at that moment.

All I have to do is remember that experience to remind me how blessed I am.

- SHERRYL MANTELL, St. Petersburg

* * *

Memories of 9/11? Share at

[Last modified September 10, 2006, 00:47:30]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters