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PAULA ZAHN NOW
The State of the States: American Stories
Aired February 1, 2005 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everyone. Welcome to a very special hour. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Tomorrow, as you know, the president gives his annual report card on the State of the Union. So, tonight, we go outside the Beltway into the heartland, where the lives of ordinary Americans reveal the true state of the states.
ZAHN (voice-over): In a country built on constant change.
MICHELLE PETTIS, FORMER STEEL WORKER: Someone is building while someone is tearing down.
ZAHN: On new ideas, new people.
CHILDREN: I pledge allegiance to the flag.
ZAHN: One thing is still the same. Ordinary people do extraordinary things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy is going to come back, I think. We've got a buyer here.
JAN QUINLEY, FORD BIRTHSITE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: If they're going to be here, they're going to have to deal with me.
ZAHN: To make our lives better.
Tonight, American stories, our special "State of the States" report.
ZAHN: The U.S. Constitution obliges every president to give Congress information on the state of the Union. President Bush will fulfill that duty on Capitol tomorrow night.
So tonight, instead of concentrating on what one end of Pennsylvania wants from the other, we broaden the horizon and look beyond Washington, right into the heart of America. We're going to take you to six states tonight, three of them places where I once lived.
Our first stop tonight, Omaha, Nebraska.
ZAHN (voice-over): Real estate agent Jan Quinley always took special interest working in Omaha's Ford Birthsite neighborhood. Then, six years ago, something clicked. So, this ex-Californian moved into her new home on Pacific Avenue, just in time for the cold Nebraska winter.
QUINLEY: And so, in the fall, you know, we all kind of burrowed into our little houses and thought everything was fine. And in the spring, when the daffodils came up, so did the prostitutes and the drug dealers and the gang members. And it was just overwhelming. It's just like the whole mentality of the neighborhood changed just overwhelmingly.
ZAHN: Dreams turned to nightmares.
QUINLEY: OK, what's the description of the seller?
I felt like I was totally surrounded by all this illegal activity. And it did feel like a war zone in here. And it was like, gosh darn it, they're not going to do this. And I am not going to be forced off my front porch. I'm not going to be one of those people that goes in and locks the front door and closes the front drapes and hides from them. If they're going to be here, they're going to have to deal with me.
ZAHN: That's when this grandmother of six became a community crime fighter. She joined the Police Advisory Commission, a prostitution task force, and became president of the neighborhood association, leading the charge to clean up the community.
QUINLEY: We had the Crips move in down there. That gray one right there on the corner was one that was a complete and total crack house. And this was the building that they actually had an unsolved murder in.
ZAHN: Ironically, the neighborhood was first developed at the turn of the 20th century and marketed as the place to get away from the hustle of downtown, just about a mile away, an easy commute by horse-drawn trolley.
The area's current name marks its connection to President Gerald Ford, who was born right here on the corner of 32nd Street and Woolworth. Marlon Brando also lived here. Jan wanted to protect this rich history, but, more importantly, she wants to ensure the community's future.
QUINLEY: You're going to work on especially around the tower tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The tower, come and go. And then we'll run the perimeter first.
ZAHN: So, she helps coordinate the community association's neighborhood patrols. On nights like this one, there's typically less criminal activity, thanks to temperatures that hover in the single digits. But the patrols continue, even though the situation is a lot better than it used to be.
Just ask Lee Murray (ph) what these streets were like four years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might see 20 people on the street either selling drugs or prostitutes, easily.
This guy is going to come back, I think. I think we got a buyer here.
ZAHN: Pointing out what they say is a prostitution pickup, they claim there's still plenty of action here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's an Iowa plate circling this corner. And there's some business. We can't prove it, but we think that's it.
ZAHN: Omaha Chief of Police Thomas Warren welcomes their efforts.
THOMAS WARREN, OMAHA CHIEF OF POLICE: We appreciate the input of Jan Quinley and others like her, because they are our eyes and our ears. When they report suspicious activity, that is enough reasonable suspicion for law enforcement to take the appropriate action.
QUINLEY: Sixty-four, 65, a situation.
ZAHN: And that's just what has happened. Surveillance photographs taken by the watch patrol have led to sting operations and arrests.
WARREN: It's an ongoing, persistent problem. However, the neighbors have been empowered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think the Iowa guy is a customer or do you think he's part of the operation?
QUINLEY: If somebody is going to drive through my neighborhood and pick up a prostitute, I have every right to write down their license number, because they've invaded my neighborhood.
ZAHN: But Jan wasn't satisfied working only with law enforcement.
QUINLEY: Can we write victim-impact statements to the judge?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Already did.
ZAHN: She prodded the city council to change sentencing guidelines relating to prostitution. And her most controversial achievement was posting the names of convicted johns on billboards leading into the Ford Birthsite neighborhood.
QUINLEY: They call me a nosy old lady. And, usually, lady isn't the term they use. I tell them I'd love to be nothing more than a bored old lady who didn't have anything to be nosy about. So, if they want to take their prostitution activity somewhere else, that would be fine with me.
ZAHN: While the billboards were up, the city prosecutor's office recorded a 42 percent drop in arrests. Not everyone, though, is impressed. Taking on pimps and drug dealers can be dangerous work.
QUINLEY: I have had my car windows broken out. I've had my tires slashed. I do have a can of pepper spray by my front door and I carry one on my keychain, because I'm not naive enough not to think I am never going to piss one of these guys off or upset one of these guys a lot.
Hey, Pat (ph), you here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey. How you doing, Jan?
ZAHN: Street by street, building by building, the battle goes on. Just a half block away Jan's house, this former crack den is getting a face-lift.
QUINLEY: This is just amazing.
ZAHN: And possibly new owners who will help transform the community.
Everyone here recognizes turning around a neighborhood doesn't happen overnight. Drive through Ford Birthsite, Jan senses a change in attitude.
QUINLEY: One of the things for me that is really fun is, you see snowmen in yards now. And you didn't four years ago. I believe there's a spirit of hope. And I believe the spirit is one that it's possible to take back from the street the sense of safety that the criminals were taking away.
ZAHN: The one thing that's important to understand is that Jan Quinley isn't all about crime and punishment. She also works with outreach groups that try to help prostates turn their lives around. And if men arrested in the neighborhood agree to undergo counseling, Jan says their names won't go on her billboards.
Coming up next, red states, blue states, was it really as simple as that?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS (D), KANSAS: I don't think we have people who are divided, in the way that pundits like to portray.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Politics on the prairie, defying stereotypes, when our "State of the State" special continues. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ZAHN: Red states, blue states, we've heard that phrase over and over again during the presidential campaign. But, in reality, that great divide between Democrats and Republicans isn't so great. You might look at America as more purple than anything else.
And our Tom Foreman has lived in and covered America's heartland for much of his career. And as our special report, "The State of the States," continues, he thinks us to Kansas.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As surely as the sunrise on the state capital of Topeka, Kathleen Sebelius, is on the job, greeting constituents, rushing to meetings, and taking the pulse of the people.
SEBELIUS: Welcome, everybody.
FOREMAN: Because she is the governor in this most Republican state, and she is a Democrat.
SEBELIUS: I don't think we have people who are divided, in the way that pundits like to portray. I think that what brings people together is common values.
FOREMAN: Kansas, the geographic center of the country, has long been favored by market researchers for having common American values.
SEBELIUS: What's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesse (ph).
SEBELIUS: Hi, Jesse. How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm James.
SEBELIUS: James, nice to meet you.
FOREMAN: When the governor travels her state, she meets an average American mix of races, occupations, incomes religions, and ages. And she is convinced people here do not much care for the politics of division promoted by Democrats and Republicans in Washington.
SEBELIUS: States really have a very different viewpoint, I think, than the Washington Beltway.
FOREMAN (on camera): Because you actually have to build bridges...
SEBELIUS: We have to do things.
FOREMAN: And run schools.
SEBELIUS: Well, and balance a budget. That's really what I think Kansans want to see happen.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Ask voters here all about the red state/blue state talk, about the growing chasm between the right and left, and they will make her case.
KEVIN STEPHENSON, KANSAS RESIDENT: It doesn't accomplish anything. It doesn't solve the problem. It doesn't settle the debate.
BLANCHE BUNCE, KANSAS RESIDENT: Obviously, the middle needs to be more vocal and express their opinion more.
PAUL VASSOR, KANSAS RESIDENT: Most people I know and I like hang out with and talk to, I don't think they're too far on either side.
JACKIE ROKUSEK, KANSAS RESIDENT: I think it's great thing that we have a Democratic governor. Not only is she a Democrat. She's a woman, which can only be good for this state.
THOMAS FRANK, AUTHOR, "WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS?": In a lot of ways, our politics just doesn't deliver what people clearly want.
FOREMAN: Thomas Frank is a big fan of the governor and author of "What's the Matter With Kansas?" He sums his home state's voters more bluntly.
FRANK: They're very liberal on certain issues and they're very conservative on other issues, especially the cultural ones. And there's no political party that is going to speak to all of that stuff at once.
FOREMAN: Not even Kathleen Sebelius, Republicans like to point out.
SEBELIUS: And there are a lot of decisions that are going to made this year.
FOREMAN: In the state legislature, they give her credit for exploiting a split between moderate and conservative Republicans. They work with her every day.
SEBELIUS: He thinks probably $10 million is gone.
FOREMAN: But they are also dead-set on driving her out of office.
Doug Mays is speaker of the House, a strong conservative who would like the law to stop abortion and gay marriage.
DOUG MAYS (R), KANSAS HOUSE SPEAKER: If you want change, you don't good with a moderate. If you want things to stay exactly as they are, you don't want any kind of change, then you go with a moderate.
FOREMAN (on camera): And what do you want? Change?
MAYS: Oh, I want change.
SEBELIUS: I think in any state, probably in order to be able to fashion a consensus, you have to be a moderate. You have to be...
FOREMAN (on camera): But you recognize that there are people on both sides who really hate moderates.
SEBELIUS: Oh, I understand. And I think that's really one of the destructive elements about the system.
FOREMAN (voice-over): At the state history museum, pictures show how politics can go to extremes, armed gunmen in the 1800s taking over the legislature. Maybe that's why so many here want some civility back in politics.
Dennis Jones is the outgoing chairman of the Republican Party.
DENNIS JONES, KANSAS GOP CHAIRMAN: Cooperation, conciliation, consideration, those are the things, the cornerstones that we must reestablish in our political process if we're going to leave a better world for our children.
SEBELIUS: Now, scootch in here.
FOREMAN: Kathleen Sebelius is running again in two years. And she knows it will be tough.
(on camera): There are people who are already predicting that you cannot be reelected.
SEBELIUS: I'm sure there are.
FOREMAN: What are you going to do about that?
SEBELIUS: Well, prove them wrong.
FOREMAN (voice-over): In 1872, out on the windswept Kansas plains, homesteader Brewster Higley wrote a poem which became the state song.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Oh, give me a home where the buffalo room, where the deer and the antelope play.
FOREMAN: And though discouraging words are often heard these days and even the deer and antelope don't play like they once did, Kathleen Sebelius is convinced this can still be home for the reds, the blues and everyone in between.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Home, home on the range.
ZAHN: Tom Foreman reporting for us tonight. By the way, that home on the range where Brewster Higley wrote his famous song is still standing, despite all the political winds that have blown there for more than a century.
Coming up next, an Ohio factory town takes a big hit, but still forges ahead. Ohio's low-tech workers find ways to cope in a brave new high-tech world when "The State of the States" continues.
ZAHN: As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. That was the presidential campaign mantra last year. And, in the end, it proved to be true. Jobs, of course, were a top issue in Ohio. Tens of thousands of folks were laid off, more than in any other state, more than a third of the nation's total in the past few years.
But, as you may know, people in the heartland are resilient. And tonight, a visit to an Ohio town that I once called home, Canton.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This will go out to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good afternoon, the employment source.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long did you work at this job?
ZAHN (voice-over): On the one hand, Canton is a story of devastating layoffs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you guys currently hiring?
ZAHN: But, on the other, it's a tale of new opportunity.
Michelle Pettis is a longtime steelworker who suddenly found herself unemployed at the age of 52.
PETTIS: I worked at this plant for 29 years and seven Minnesota. And I walked away with absolutely nothing.
ZAHN: And thirty-year-old Geoff Karcher, an entrepreneur whose budding Web design company was named Canton's small business of the year.
GEOFF KARCHER, THE KARCHER GROUP: We're a high-technology search engine marketing and Web development firm, meeting needs of companies all over the country.
ZAHN: The disparity between them is dramatic, but their shared lessons are telling.
PETTIS: This is the way I come 30 years. I did this every day, every day. I could drive this with my eyes closed.
ZAHN: Today's drive to the steel mill is painful.
PETTIS: This is the first time I've been out here since they closed the doors. And I guess it's like putting something to rest.
ZAHN: A once bustling factory that employed 2,500 people, the plant is abandoned now, a symbol of economic decay. The quiet here is deafening.
PETTIS: I feel like this plant look. I would have never thought that this place could get like this. Now it's like a bad nightmare to be out here and see nobody but me.
ZAHN: It was December of 2002, when Republic Steel closed its doors for good.
PETTIS: I was five months from retiring when they told us goodbye. We was supposed to get shutdown fee. We was supposed to get pension and benefits. But we didn't get anything. So when -- I'm not going to cry. Because I didn't have plan B.
ZAHN: The only female welder in Republic's maintenance department, Michelle earned high praise for her work. It was a good steady job with benefits, one that helped this single mother support her five children.
PETTIS: When I got my checks, my name was on it and had a pretty nice little number after it.
ZAHN: But its sudden failure left Michelle and hundreds like her feeling disillusioned, betrayed and more than a little lost.
PETTIS: I feel like a wife being betrayed by her husband, being faithful to him for 30 years. And he go get a younger model.
ZAHN: So this grandmother of 15 went back to school to become a medical assistant. She earned honors and graduated a year later. But her first paycheck as a home health aide was downright discouraging.
PETTIS: I got used to making, clearing $1,100, $1,200 every two weeks. To my first home health, I made $13. My second check was $26.
ZAHN: Michelle now lives in subsidized housing. The struggle to make ends meet is taking a toll.
PETTIS: I worked all those years trying to get good credit and I'm right back at square A, as though I never had a job in my life. Now I'll never be able to retire. I'll work until I die.
ZAHN: On the other side of town is this nondescript building, a little slice of Silicon Valley. Tucked away in his office, Geoff Karcher and his employees are reaping the rewards of Canton's gradual shift from an industrial economy to one fueled by technology.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the fire walls of like the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on each machine?
KARCHER: We help people's business sites show up in Yahoo! and Google. That is something that I don't think people expect to find in Canton, Ohio. They don't expect to find a little business that's the home of 700 Web sites.
ZAHN: Their office may look like fun and games, but it's serious business.
KARCHER: We went from 12 employees two years ago to 22 employees at this point. We're creating jobs. We're not creating them at a high rate because we're a small business. But there are a lot of small businesses like us doing exactly that same thing.
ZAHN: So much so that small businesses like Geoff's now employ half of Ohio's work force and account for 80 percent of new jobs in the state.
KARCHER: We're not about getting rich overnight. We're about making a fair wage and doing a good job, but enjoying what we do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
ZAHN: On the edge of town, signs of commerce are everywhere. A busy new shopping district points to economic recovery.
KARCHER: There are stores popping up. There are new locations, whole new areas being developed all over the place. And I see the retail as a result of the fact that this economy isn't as bad as everybody wants to make it out to be. If it was, people wouldn't be shopping.
ZAHN: But for Michelle and many like her, all this success seems puzzling.
PETTIS: They're building $200,000 and $300,000 and $400,000 homes. Where do these people work at? Someone is building while someone is tearing down, so I guess the two go hand in hand. And I happen to be the one that got the negative end.
ZAHN: Still, Canton reminds us all to look toward the future and to remember that, in the wake of failure, new opportunities await.
KARCHER: I'm extremely happy. I've seen the last couple of years. I believe we've been through the toughest times that we're going to see for a while.
PETTIS: Canton, Ohio has the ability to be a great town. Maybe this is a time for people to pull together and pull our resources together and see that we can do for ourselves.
ZAHN: Having lived in Canton myself, I can tell you with certainty these are tough, resilient and very proud people.
When we come back, a new wave of immigrants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... years, people have come here with a suitcase, and they've made this the richest, freest country in world history, I think. And that's still happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: But a lot of people are starting to ask, just how wide should we open that door to new Americans?
ZAHN: We hear time and time again that America is a nation of immigrants. Well, guess what? They're still coming legally or not, English speaking or not and welcome or not. And to show you what we mean, Tom Foreman takes us to the Show-Me state.
FOREMAN (voice-over): On a cold morning in Missouri, children pour into Garfield Elementary School from every corner of the earth. This public school is in the middle of one of the state's largest immigrant communities. Students here speak 18 different languages, and principal Gwendolyn Squires must communicate with them all.
GWENDOLYN SQUIRES, PRINCIPAL: I have a little saying that, on my way to work each day, it's like I'm driving to another country. As you know, often when those kids arrive here, they come here with nothing.
FOREMAN: No school records, no medical records?
SQUIRES: No. I don't think half of Kingston City knows what exists here on the northeast area of the city at all.
FOREMAN: She may be right. The immigrant population in middle America is exploding. In Missouri alone, up 81 percent in the 1990s. The number of Latinos has nearly doubled. Pushed by the arrival of workers like Eric Ruiz (ph).
"I like it here," he says, "because there is more work and opportunity."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what are the four weather words that you came up with?
FOREMAN: So, not far from Garfield School, adults crowd into English language classes at an immigrant community center and program director David Holsclaw thinks this is wonderful.
DAVID HOLSCLAW, ENG. LANG. PROGRAM DIRECTOR: For hundreds of years, people have come here with a suitcase, and they've made this the richest freest country in world history, I think. And that's still happening.
FOREMAN: Immigrants still account for only about 3 percent of Missouri's population. It's not like they're overrunning the state but there are more than 35 million foreign-born people living in this country. Right now, I'm going to see some people who think that is a pretty big problem.
Hi. I'm Tom. Good to meet you.
We contacted Joyce Mucci and her friends through the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which suggests the federal government lets too many legal immigrants in and does not keep enough illegals out.
JOYCE MUCCI, IMMIGRATION REFORM ACTIVIST: I think this's a great sense among Americans, I'm not the only one, that there's a great fear we're going to lose our identity as Americans.
FOREMAN: Their concerns are cultural, their concerns are economic.
CHARLENE BREDEMEIER, IMMIGRATION REFORM ACTIVIST: I as a taxpayer, federal, state level will have to pay more money for all this. Because they are going to need more teachers, more help.
FRANCES SEMLER, IMMIGRATION REFORM ACTIVIST: Too bad that so many things bottom out at the dollar but that's the reality in which we live.
FOREMAN: And their concerns are not unfounded. 800,000 legal immigrants now arrive annually. Four times as many as 40 years ago. And when illegal aliens are tossed into the mix, nobody can say reliably even how many there are.
SEMLER: I think we need to take a look at overall policy and get a handle on it. Maybe even stop it for a while until we can count everybody.
FOREMAN: Immigrants have brought undeniable benefits to Missouri over the years. The Vietnamese community started thee decades ago has produced strong churches, businesses, and families. Visit with this Nhuoun and Doan Tran for even a few minutes and you cannot doubt their patriotism.
NHUOUN TRAN, VIETNAMESE IMMIGRANT: This is a good land. As a promised land in the Bible.
DOAN TRAN, VIETNAMESE IMMIGRANT: So when we came over here, we tried to prove we are the good people.
FOREMAN: But some children of the original immigrants now wonder if keeping America's doors so wide open is wise. Should our immigration policy be more open or more closed?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More closed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It has to be taken care of at the very first step.
SQUIRES: So what we have are, like, shelter classrooms. FOREMAN: Back at Garfield Elementary School, Gwendolyn Squires has heard all the arguments. And her answer is simple.
Look at Saheed (ph).
FOREMAN: He arrived from Somalia three days ago. He speaks no English, never has been to school. Taking care of such children and their families, she believes, is what America is all about.
SQUIRES: This is the battlefield.
FOREMAN: What are you battling?
SQUIRES: I am battling whatever the children are battling, whatever they bring to us.
FOREMAN: America has always been an immigrant nation, but with 15,000 legal immigrants arriving every week, the descendants of some of those who came long ago are asking, how many more can we invite to American shores?
ZAHN: And Tom Foreman reminded me that Missouri was once home to the Osage, Delaware, Kickapoo, Shawnee, and Cherokee nations. Well, today, Native Americans now make up less than half a percent of the state's voting age population. Everyone else is an immigrant.
Coming up next, an Illinois town nearly a thousand miles near the East Coast but changed forever by 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It attacked us as a nation, as everybody here. As a town and city here we felt attacked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: A memorial to one life lost becomes a heartfelt monument for all, when our special continues.
ZAHN: Welcome back. We focus tonight on the extraordinary things ordinary Americans are doing to make our lives better. During our visit to a town in Illinois where I once lived, we discovered how the power of an idea, even if it comes from just one person can mobilize an entire community.
ZAHN (voice-over): We're undeniably shaped by the communities where we live, yet our influence on our surroundings often remains unclear until it's too late.
This is the story about a community and its bond to one man whose spirit helped people find themselves amid tragedy and despair.
September 11, 2001. While New York, Washington and Pennsylvania bore the brunt of the disaster, towns all across the country, large and small, were devastated. Even my hometown of Naperville, Illinois, about 30 miles west of Chicago felt terror's deadly effects. When I lived here in the '60s and '70s, Naperville was a small all American town. Well, today, it's a city of more than 125,000. But it still has all of its old charm.
It's also the place where Commander Dan Shanover (ph) grew up.
Years ago when Mayor George Cradle (ph) was a police officer, he knew Dan well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He marched to his own drumbeat. And I remember when he got old enough to drive a car, I was passing him in the squad car, and I thought, there's something funny about him driving in that car. So I turned around and I stopped him. And here he had a -- the seats were all out of the car and he had a lawn chair, and he was driving a car with a lawn chair.
ZAHN: To this day, Mayor Cradle (ph) doesn't know why.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For Dan.
ZAHN: But no one knew Dan better than his younger brother, John.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My brother was sort of a hell raiser, in a good sense. A great sense of humor. Loved to play practical jokes, pranks, loved adventure, loved travel, one of the big reasons why he joined the Navy.
ZAHN: The Dan he knew was always a leader.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Summers was playing Army as kids with other neighborhood kids. And Dan inevitably was always the captain.
ZAHN: So it was no surprise when Dan was promoted to commander on December 28, 2000. Nine months later, he was an intelligence officer at the Pentagon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As of September 12, he was listed as missing. And it was pretty clear that if you were listed missing in the Pentagon, you weren't going to get any good news.
ZAHN: On September 16, it was confirmed: Dan was killed in the attack.
Chuck and Gloria Johns are old family friends of the Shanowers.
GLORIA JOHNS, FAMILY FRIEND: When I learned of Dan's death I was thinking of a lot of confusing things: rage, sorrow, anger. I don't know all the different things that went through my head.
ZAHN: Working through her feelings, Gloria immediately wanted to build a memorial to honor Dan's memory. Her first ideas with small: a flagpole, a plaque. But the Shanowers were uncomfortable erecting a monument to Dan alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There wasn't much desire to be the center of attention. That day was more than just about one person.
ZAHN: So the town formed a committee, and it agreed that the memorial should tell the whole story of 9/11. It decided on tangible reminders, including a steel eye beam from Ground Zero in New York. There is an eternal flame and wall of faces, representing all the victims. It was a project that rallied the entire community.
JOHNS: These attacks attacked us as a nation, as everybody here. As a town, as a city here in Naperville, we felt attacked.
ZAHN: The city donated the land. Volunteers donated their time and resources.
JOHNS: The money came from everywhere.
ZAHN: Even Naperville's children contributed. Dottie Ferrell (ph) teaches art in the elementary school Dan Shanower attended.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the children that attended our school came up with the idea of making a sea of faces. These are the original faces that we made up from the kids' drawings.
ZAHN: That child was Britney Miller (ph), at the time a seventh grader.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I originally thought, like, we could have something in the ground, like, with Dan Shanower's face in the middle and then all the other faces around it.
ZAHN: Students drew more than 2,000 pictures, mostly very simple. One hundred and fifteen were chosen as models for what would become the spiritual cornerstone of the memorial.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was strictly done out of people's hearts, because they wanted to do something.
Which is your favorite here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I kind of like the one with the pigtails.
ZAHN: And it gave the children a sense of solace.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes they don't really understand as well as adults. And when the memorial happened, it gave them something to be a part of.
ZAHN: At the dedication ceremony on September 11, 2003, Dan Shanower's mother, Pat, expressed her family's gratitude.
PAT SHANOWER, DAN SHANOWER'S MOTHER: September 11, 2001, affected all of our lives, some in more personal ways than others. But friends and strangers alike, you let us know that you hurt with us. ZAHN: What would Dan think about all of this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He'd be embarrassed. Overwhelmed. Something that wasn't necessary.
ZAHN: Maybe it wasn't necessary, but by paying tribute to a local hero, Naperville learned a little bit about itself. In years to come, visitors will learn not only what was lost here on 9/11, but also what was gained.
ZAHN: A powerful monument. I will always consider Naperville my hometown. It's where family comes first and giving back are words to live by.
Larry King is coming up at the top of the hour. He joins me now with a preview.
So Larry, you probably didn't know I had so many hometowns: Omaha, Nebraska; Canton, Ohio; Naperville, Illinois.
LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Where are you from?
ZAHN: Well, all of those. My dad was with IBM. I have been moved.
KING: Where did you physically make your appearance?
ZAHN: Omaha, Nebraska; Dayton, Ohio; Canton, Ohio; Naperville, Illinois; and then 19 different places.
KING: You were born in Omaha?
ZAHN: You got it.
KING: You and Marlon Brando.
ZAHN: Not -- like three blocks away from where a street was named after him.
ZAHN: Yes. What -- what are you doing tonight?
KING: "TIME" magazine this week, Paula, has the 25 most influential evangelicals in America and what does Bush owe them and do the Democrats need religion. Five of them are on "LARRY KING LIVE" tonight. We'll explore that topic. We'll also get an update from the Vatican on the condition of the pope, Paula.
ZAHN: Look forward to it. Thanks, Larry.
Larry will be up in about 14 minutes from now.
Tonight, you've seen Americans embracing change and making things better for themselves and those all around them. But in these confusing times, even prosperity can be a hardship.
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RICHARD LAMM, FORMER COLORADO GOVERNOR: I think that growth is subsidized by every day taxpayers and in a way that most of them don't fully realize.
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ZAHN: The struggle to keep growth under control when THE STATE OF THE STATES continues.
ZAHN: In the landscape around Denver, Colorado, you can read the story of middle America. Look east and the farms of the Great Plains stretch way to the endless flat horizon. And you look to the west and the Rocky Mountains soar invitingly into the sky. Who wouldn't want to move there? Although nowadays, the question is, who hasn't?
Once again, Tom Foreman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's 9 a.m. in the Rocky Mountain west. And let's go to traffic right now.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Rush hour in Denver and the highways are humming; 1.5 million commuters are fighting the daily battle for space and time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a little slow going southbound on 225.
FOREMAN: But buried in the traffic, Paul Sutton is thinking about a far more difficult fight, the struggle for this city and dozens more like it to control growth.
PAUL SUTTON, UNIVERSITY OF DENVER: I think it is one of the most fundamentally important issues with respect to social problems, economic problems and environmental problems. As the population grows, all kinds of problems get bigger.
FOREMAN: The beautiful Rocky Mountain West is the fastest growing region in the country. Metro Denver's population is 30 percent larger than it was in 1990.
And at the University of Denver, Sutton, a social geographer, believes urban growth everywhere is happening much faster than we know.
SUTTON: So this is southwest Denver. OK? So the Denver blob that is metro Denver is there.
FOREMAN (on camera): And it would seem like basically, even the suburban boundary is about here.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Using satellite photos of nighttime lights, he has concluded that his family and one-third of Americans are now living in exurbia, places just beyond the suburbs where the country looks like country again, beyond the limits of most studies of urban growth.
SUTTON: I think a lot of the old ideas of suburban living are now in exurban. You know, there's a natural environment, kid's not going to get run over by a bus. I don't lock my house, you know? There's no crime.
FOREMAN: So people live better for less money a little farther away. Why does that matter?
First, because fire and police protection, school bus routes, water lines, phones and electricity must all be dragged out to these homes. That is costly.
And, second, because these people are still working in the city, adding to traffic, pollution and demand on services there. They are not forming independent small towns with self-sustaining economies.
SUTTON: I don't think growth pays its own way.
FOREMAN: That's why former Colorado governor Richard Lamm believes all states need to reassess how much growth they want.
LAMM: If growth was good for a society, if it cut taxes then Los Angeles would be the cheapest place to live in the world. It's not. It's among the most expensive. And so I think that growth is subsidized by every day taxpayers and in a way that most of them don't fully realize.
FOREMAN: The State Department of local affairs, which helps towns manage growth, says it was different 15 years ago, when Colorado's economy staggered.
KATHI WILLIAMS, COLORADO DIVISION OF HOUSING: I mean, we wanted any growth for any reason, any time, any place, anyhow.
FOREMAN: Now, executive director Mike Beasley says there is at least talk of encouraging growth in small towns far away and utterly removed from the cities.
MIKE BEASLEY, COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AFFAIRS: And those communities, by the way, in rural Colorado don't really see it as a burden. They see it as an opportunity and really the future of their community.
SUTTON: If the population just continues to grow, at some point, the planning can't deal with it anymore.
FOREMAN (on camera): You must know plenty of people who just call you an alarmist?
FOREMAN: Why aren't they right?
SUTTON: They could be, you know. I don't think they're right, though.
FOREMAN: All of this is not just about theory. Growth affects real people in real ways.
Fourteen years ago my wife and I moved to this valley. At the time, there were no major roads, no shops nearby, and it was considered quite far from town.
(on camera) But back then, this was an empty field, and so was this, and this, and this. So the suburbanites keep moving out.
SUTTON: These people are not rural. They have urban sensibilities. They drink lattes. They drive SUVs. They're soccer moms. They take their kids to rec centers. They don't may banjos.
FOREMAN: Or they play it with a downtown flare as the cities keep reaching, Paul Sutton keeps preaching and the American population booms into the countryside.
ZAHN: Tom Foreman reporting once again. You may have noticed by now, change is a common theme, no matter which state you call home. And change came to a Colorado institution today when Coors shareholders approved the brewery's merger with Molson of Canada.
When we come back, searching for the real spirit of America. What we found after this.
ZAHN: Just over 24 hours from now, President Bush will address Congress and the nation. Many different Americans will be listening.
ZAHN (voice-over): America's called a melting pot. A big generous land, where fast paced cities, busy industries and rich farms absorb generation after generation of immigrants, melting them together into a single American identity.
Perhaps it's a pleasing image, but it also happens to be inaccurate. Look beyond the tall buildings, the suburban malls; look beyond the small farms, and the spacious ranches. Look into the eyes of the people you meet.
The south is clearly not the north. The west is separated from the east by more than time zones and open roads. We revel in our diversity, in our families, our cultures, churches.
True, we do have common interests. But as tragedy has taught us, common sorrows, too. Our young people give us a common cause for pride and worry.
How will our elected leaders, in the words of our Founding Fathers, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity?
Fifty states and 300 million people are waiting for an answer. Not a one-size-fits-all answer, not a melting pot answer, an answer that's like us: dynamic, changing, American.
ZAHN: And tomorrow, our special coverage of the president's State of the Union message begins at 8 p.m. Eastern. Thanks for joining us tonight. Have a good rest of the night.
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