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America's New War: Life Resumes in California

Aired September 18, 2001 - 05:55   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: It is hard to imagine life going on as planned after the terrorist strike last week, but a bride in California simply had to find a way. CNN's Ann McDermott has this family story.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

ANN MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ellen Marianna's daughter was married on Saturday and Marianna was there but her husband, the bride's much loved step-father was not. The Marianna's who lived in New Hampshire had traveled to the Los Angeles ceremony on separate planes. Neil Marianna was on United Flight 175, which never arrived.

The bride was all for canceling the ceremony but her mother said, "Don't you dare."

ELLEN MARIANNA, FLIGHT 175 WIDOW: That's what they want. That's what the enemy wants - if you freeze with fear you're lost, you're theirs, you're in the hands of the enemy and that's exactly - you do not freeze with fear.

MCDERMOTT: Her husband Neil didn't plan on going to the wedding at first - he had been laid off his job. The Mariannas were living off unemployment and an extra plane ticket was just too expensive. But Ellen decided he was going.

MARIANNA: We had three to four yard sales.

MCDERMOTT: Just to make money for the trip?

MARIANNA: That's exactly right. I feel guilty.

MCDERMOTT: Since there was no room on Ellen's plane Neil found a seat on Flight 175. They last saw each other when they parted at the airport in Boston.

MARIANNA: And he gave me a big kiss and he said, "I love you." That was it.

MCDERMOTT: A couple of days after the wedding the family got together but talk was subdued - they'd been watching the news all weekend.

UNKNOWN FEMALE: They showed his plane a million times and . . .

MCDERMOTT: And every time Ellen sees it she wonders what was going through her husband's mind but she rallies.

MARIANNA: I'm going to make it.

MCDERMOTT: Then she falters again when her daughter gives her a blow up of a favorite photo. Then they part. And now it's just Ellen. The hardest thing of all - going home alone.

Ann McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

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