Remembering 9/11

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 10, 2006

Americans will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States today. And they will do so in different ways, and for different reasons. In Selma, Northside Baptist Church will host a 9/11 service at 11 a.m. today. Dr. Joe Bob Mizzell, an eyewitness to the

9/11 attacks in New York City and director of the Christian ethics and chaplaincy for the Alabama Baptist Convention, will speak at the service and has built a sermon around the cost of freedom.

Throughout Dallas County, residents still have strong memories of that day.

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“I thought I was looking at a movie,” said Corine Beal of Selma. “My daughter called me from Georgia. I saw those airplanes go into the building. She said, ‘Mom, that’s for real.'”

Beal said she remembers being stunned. “It was just amazing. It all went away in just a few seconds.”

Florence Cranmore of Valley Grande said she just knows it was a terrible day. “It was an awful day. An awful thing that could happen to our country,” Cranmore said. “It’s a thing no one will ever forget.”

Vickie Bell of Selma said she doesn’t feel any safer now than she did five years ago. “I just knew it was a tragedy,” she said of the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Across the country, citizens continue to deal with the effects of the attack.

In Clintonville, Wis., population 4,700, employees at one of the nation’s oldest and largest manufacturers of fire trucks, Seagrave Fire Apparatus LLC, knew some of the New York City firefighters killed in the attacks, so for them the fifth anniversary is akin to remembering the loss of a family member.

Seagrave is the exclusive supplier of fire trucks to New York City, with whom its relationship stretches back more than a century, when fire trucks were horse-drawn. Before any fire truck is delivered, teams of firefighters visit Clintonville to inspect it. “It’s a very personal thing for me and everybody at the plant,” said Rick Goodell, a Seagrave engineer who knew several of the New York City firefighters killed five years ago.

Yuko Clark, 39, who lives in New Jersey with her four children, is one victim who cannot erase her sense of loss.

Her American husband, Greg, 40, was working for a bond trading agent on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower.

The emotional damage to her children also is deep.

On Monday, a memorial ceremony is to be held at Ground Zero.

One of Yuko Clark’s friends, who also lost her husband, suggested that Yuko read her husband’s name out with others on the day to mark a turning point, but she refused.

She has not visited Ground Zero for a long time, “Because I feel as if my feelings go back to the past.”

Recently, she started playing the piano again. On Monday, she said she was planning to attend an event at a hall in New York to sing Mozart’s “Requiem” in remembrance of her husband.

Tammy Leytham of The Selma Times-Journal contributed to this report.