Sept. 11 attacks cemented family’s move to New Mexico

Sharna Johnson

David and Erinn Burch were already making plans in 2001 to move back to New Mexico to be near family when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks only raised their motivation.

“We decided we didn’t need to find the perfect job; the perfect this or that,” said Erinn Burch, executive director for United Way of Eastern New Mexico. “We just need to be closer to family.”

Burch said they were living in Fairfax, Va., and David was working a mile from the White House when the planes crashed that day.

“D.C. went crazy,” she said. “There were rumors that there were other explosions in town. He opted to stay in town and wait it out (because) you couldn’t get out. People were leaving the city on foot trying to get away. It was just scary.

“I think it just brought home to us that we didn’t need to make a life there, we wanted our home to be closer to our families.”

Hearing the news Sunday that Osama bin Laden had been killed was a surprise, Burch said.

“I’m amazed that he’s finally been caught. I just assumed that he had gone so far to ground that we weren’t going to be able to find him. He ceased to be the one who was causing problems and so at some point I just wonder how much effort you continue to send after one guy,” she said.

“(But) as long as he’s out there he’s still a symbol of someone who stuck it to the United States, so he needed to be brought to justice.”