CRESTLINE — “Sept. 12, 2001. There were no Republicans and there were no Democrats. There were no red states and there were no blue states. There was no separation of black, white, red, or yellow people. There was no defund the police movement. There was no good guy versus bad guy. We were all Americans that day, and we were all proud Americans.”
Crestline Police Chief Jeff Shook shared those words during his speech marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa.
Shook and other law enforcement and first responders gathered with local residents last Saturday to honor the memory of those who perished in the attacks during a memorial walk and remembrance ceremony at Village Square.
“We supported our police and (emergency) personnel and cared about the well being of our fellow citizens, all due to a common enemy,” Shook added. “We must strive as a community to get back to that 9/11, 2001, mentality without another 9/11 or Pearl Harbor taking place.”
Shook ended his remarks with a charge to his fellow citizens.
“So in closing, I want to challenge every generation of person here,” he said. “Us older generations, we must continue the education of our young people, because if we don’t educate people on what history has brought to us then it’s bound to occur again. The younger generation, you must strive to learn your history. Learn from our mistakes as to never have a wakeup call. And I do not want to live through your next 9/11 or Pearl Harbor.”
Where were you?
Residents had the chance to share where they were and what they were doing on that fateful Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. Organizers set up a board on which people could write about their experiences on that day.
The vast majority of those who shared memories were just going about their daily business — working, traveling, taking a vehicle in for service, preparing for the day ahead, or just enjoying some time off.
“I was at work at the Crestline Police Department, Police Dispatcher,” wrote Dispatcher Alice McElvain.
“I was getting ready for work at Just Jokin and ended up being 2 hours late because I could not move,” Trina Dille shared.
“Boarding an airplane out of Columbus and pregnant with a toddler,” wrote Misti Clark.
“I was at Jim’s Garage in North Fairfield, OH,” Dwight Lewis wrote.
“I was at Myrtle Beach. Watched the 2nd and 3rd crash,” Teresa Teynor shared.
“I was in Baldwinville, NY, watching the plane that hit the Pentagon. It flew by at a low (elevation),” John Hart wrote.
One of the most sobering memories was shared by a young woman who was just a child on Sept. 11, 2001.
“I was at daycare. 9/11 is my first memory,” wrote Kayleigh Seiber.
NYC helping its own
Jeff Gress, an associate professor in the Capital University Theatre Studies department, shared the story of how New York City’s entertainment industry responded to the disaster. He noted that scores of individuals who work in the entertainment sector and numerous companies lent aid to the rescue and recovery operation on the day of the attacks and in the months afterwards.
Gress, who resides in Morrow County, spoke about one young man, who later went on to serve in the U.S. Marines in the Middle East, who rushed to the scene and used his military training to provide medical assistance and help rescue many people.
A theater lighting company in New York provided lighting at no cost to the city to support the rescue and recovery efforts, Gress said. The company kept Ground Zero lit up 24/7 so first responders and construction workers could do their jobs non-stop.
Gress noted that the vast majority of people and companies from the New York city entertainment industry provided their services and work at no cost, refusing any compensation during the city’s greatest time of need.
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