A plaque will be presented in Lewiston.

Two years later, Mainers will be observing the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a series of low-key events.

Gov. John Baldacci is holding a ceremony at the Blaine House in Augusta. Post offices will observe 60 seconds of silence. And a plaque bearing the names of Maine’s Sept. 11 victims will be presented in Lewiston.

Elsewhere, there will be a parade down Freeport’s Main Street and a somber ceremony dedicating a garden in Portland that features flowers grown by a Lubec couple who died in the terrorist attacks.

While many communities are holding events, it’s only natural that there would be fewer of them on the second anniversary, said Steven Barkan, professor of sociology at the University of Maine.

“I’m not at all surprised if things are a little more low key. I don’t think that people care any less, but two years have gone by,” Barkan said. “The first anniversary for anything is always a special event whether it marks a happy event or a tragic event.”

Last year, the death and destruction in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in a field in rural Pennsylvania was fresh on the minds of Mainers. Two hijackers flew from Portland on the day of the attacks, further shaking the sense of security in Maine.

Mainers responded with candlelight vigils, benefit concerts, parades and a flyover by F-16 fighter jets.

Two years later, people in Maine are attempting to process the changes that started on that day, including the war on terror, conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and uncertainty over whether there’ll be more attacks.

“People have moved on with their lives. They recognized that 9-11 was the beginning of some dramatic changes,” Barkan said. “They’re trying to put it all in context.”

AP-ES-09-10-03 1425EDT



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