LEWISTON – In the five years since the 9/11 attacks, Paul Jalbert has avoided the tributes and monuments to his only brother, Robert, and the other victims who died.


It hurt too much.

Then, he went to Boston. On the city commons, he found a memorial to the people who were killed that day.

“When I got to that monument, the first thing I saw was my brother’s name,” Paul said. “I don’t know why.”

Robert Jalbert was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, the second plane to strike the World Trade Center. He was 61.

The sharp feelings of loss have never dulled, Paul said.

“The media keeps it right in our eyes all the time,” he said. So do folks right here in Lewiston, where Paul lives. Until recently, people offered their condolences at dinner or at hockey games.

Paul wished people would remember Monday’s anniversary with something private – at home with their families – rather than a public display.

“It’s very hard to go to the next step with this, to say, ‘Well, let’s move on,'” he said.

Not that he wishes people would forget the attacks. He worries that more will happen. He worries that the U.S. has done too little to protect itself.

And he offers little mercy for the perpetrators. When U.S. courts sentenced 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, Jalbert believed the man had earned execution. Instead, he got life. But then Jalbert figured Moussaoui was counting on a quick death and Islamic paradise.

“That’s what he wanted,” Paul said. “Life imprisonment is not his game at all, which I think is great.”

– Daniel Hartill


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