September 12, 2001
Dear Family and Friends,

        Some of us remember where we were and what we were doing when President Kennedy was shot 38 years ago. I was teaching fifth grade at the John Ward School in Newton, Massachusetts, that day. When the school district heard of the events in Dallas, schools were closed immediately and we were sent home for the remainder of the day. Judy was at home in Watertown caring for a very young son, Michael, and watching the news on a small black and white TV.

        We’ll remember, in the same way, where we were and what we were doing when four of our commercial airplanes were turned against us by (currently) unknown persons and thousands were killed and untold thousands more lives were shattered and forever changed by the attacks. We were on the last day of a two week vacation in Wyoming, having spent the night before at the North Fork campground in the Snowy Range in the southern part of the state. Though we have a radio in our RV, it rarely works very well and we generally don’t use it, especially when we have no electrical hook-up, which is seldom. However, the Denver Broncos were playing their home opener on Monday night and I thought there might be a slim chance that we might be able to pick up the game on a local Laramie station. Success! We listened to the first half of the game and then turned out the lights and went to sleep.

        In the morning, I turned on the radio to see who had won the game, and we heard the first reports of the assault on the World Trade Towers. It was as though we were listening to Orson Welles’ radio drama of  “The War of the Worlds.” There was, at least on radio, such an unreal quality to what we were hearing it took us each quite some time for the realization to sink in that the attacks were real and the work of an organization, not the coincidental actions of a random individual terrorist or two. We ate a very hurried breakfast and left for home, listening to the details as they unfolded that morning. We were able to contact daughter Debra in Milton to be reassured that Dan, who travels often out of Boston, was safe in Europe (between London and Paris at the time). Michael had made contact with the rest of the family (in Massachusetts and Illinois) via email to learn they were all safe as well.

        Since my last F&F letter in April, we had had an adventurous and very satisfying summer in some beautiful parts of the world: a challenging and memorable 16-day excursion to Peru including hiking the Inca Trail into Machu Picchu; a 40th anniversary party in our back “meadow” surrounded by family and friends from this part of the country complete with bagpiper and our re-enactment of the simultaneous mutual cake-feeding ritual; a family vacation to nearby Steamboat Springs (tennis, biking, hiking, tubing, fly fishing, hot springs, miniature golf, and an alpine slide that we’ll all remember); Philip and Ann Bennett, whom we had met last summer on our Switzerland trip, visited for several days of hiking in our Indian Peaks Wilderness Area (and a day of urban hiking in Boulder); “camping” in Wyoming’s national forest campgrounds with four days of our annual reunion with Tom and Pat and Lee and Irene in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. In the days between trips we were consumed with getting ready for each upcoming event as well as the Visitors Center, the library, and the new web page for the Chamber of Commerce we’ve been working on with webmaster/son Michael. Fortunately, we have dodged a summer of fires in our area; it has been a remarkably “wet” summer and the daily rains, along with a regional fire ban, has kept our fire danger to a minimum. Thankfully, Judy has had a “quiet” summer with the fire department.

        I had hoped to write in more detail about each of our doings, but our family’s good fortunes seem innocent and inconsequential next to the horrors our country may face and the grief and sorrows experienced by so many whose lives were indelibly altered for the worse by those who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you’re interested, the details of the Peru trip and camping in Wyoming are posted elsewhere. There are some images from other summer activities that are worth recording and follow without (much) comment.

        We hope you are well, that you have counted the blessings you have received, and that you will find a lesson or the appropriate response to this dark chapter in our country’s history.

Machu Picchu Hiking Club.
Dan, Griffin, Julia, and Debra enjoying urban hike in Boulder.
Cindy, Michael, and Judy on a trail east of Steamboat Springs.
Hughes, Pat, Irene, Tom, Judy, and Lee at Jackson, Wyoming.
With Ann and Philip Bennett on the trail to Arapaho Pass.
A strangely dressed bagpiper entertained at our 40th Anniversary party!
Granite Creek C.G. in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton N.F.

Judy and Hughes Moir
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