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. The entire world has changed as a result of 9/11 and the lives of all Americans changed from that day.
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 an airplane without taking off your shoes and they’ll think you’re from Mars. Many may not know why it happened, how it happened, or even who masterminded that destructive day that has affected 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 the ultimate sacrifice and for the future of our country: those are some of the reasons my friend and former Marine Arleigh Dotson and I are producing Sarah Tuft’s powerful play 110 Stories on 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 actors the opportunity to let the powerful personal dialogues of 9/11 survivors tell their unforgettably moving stories.
110 Stories shares the emotions, experiences, and fears of those who survived the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor in 1941. Featuring playwright Sara Tuft’s superb writing we will tell the stories and portray the lives of the survivors with a great cast that includes Dean 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 called upon to selflessly protect our American way of life, our freedom, and the liberties most of us take for granted, so proceeds from Thursday night’s performance will benefit two excellent local non-profit organizations: Politiquest, which benefits voters with non-partisan debates and voter 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 for the very same reason: to remember and honor the lives of the people who died that day. For the cast, the producers, the show staff and management, and the audience too, it’s a time when individuals come together to be part of a memorial and memorable performance for those who were lost.
We are producing the play again this year because we will never forget what happened that day, we will never stop honoring the innocents who died on 9/11 and continue to remind ourselves of the American values that are at the heart of what makes our country great. We want to educate every generation of our youth about this horrific and historic event and to always remember and honor the lives lost from that day.