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Cornelius News

{Never Forget}

neverforgetFor retired New York City firefighter Jim Butler, Sept. 11 was the day he lost 343 fellow firefighters and friends.

“In the fire service, we always lived with the possibility of a major loss of life but nothing of that magnitude,” the Cornelius resident says. “That’s why it’s so important that all of our citizens honor the dedication of these brave men and women and work to make sure it never happens again.”

In honor of all those who perished, the town of Cornelius is erecting the “Never Forget” monument on the front lawn of Fire Station No 1 on South Main Street. It will be unveiled at a ceremony 8:30 a.m. Sunday Sept. 11. It will be 15 years since the first plane hit the World Trade Center north tower at 8:45 a.m.

The Never Forget 9/11 Monument will include a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. It is Cornelius’ official way to honor the citizens, first responders and military who were killed.

“This monument will also honor those who continue to serve in our local community,” said Police Chief Bence Hoyle. “It is an important reminder to our own heroes that the sacrifices and risks they take are remembered and appreciated every day.”

This is not the first time Cornelius has erected a monument to honor those who served and lost their lives.

According to a town history published by the Cornelius Jaycees in 1971, 585 people contributed to the Confederate Veterans Monument on Zion Street between 1907 and 1910. It is located just east of the railroad tracks and Fire Station No. 1 on South Main Street. The history says the “entire community” participated, but it’s a good guess the extent of participation wasn’t as far and wide as the Never Forget monument.

The designers behind Never Forget inscribed that phrase in 44 languages on the monument. One of the languages in Arabic. French is represented, of course, and Spanish, but also Isizulu, Yoruba, Oromo and dozens more.

Still, the Confederate Monument was a massive undertaking. The Jaycees history says “hundreds…gave their time and talents through box suppers, fiddlers conventions, plays and ballgames and any other way that money could be raised.” Factoring in inflation, the 1910 monument, which cost $10,000 then, would cost over $243,000 in today’s dollars.

Cornelius-Lemley Fire and Rescue Chief Neal Smith says the new monument will be a living memorial.

“It will not only recognize the importance of our first responders and military that continue to serve our citizens daily but also educate our youth for generations to come,” Smith says. “The memorial will be for all people and a place to reflect and remember how our history was forever changed one morning in September 2001.”

The official dedication of the 9/11 monument is set for 8:30 a.m. Sunday Sept. 11 at Fire Station No. 1. The event is open to the public.

—Dave Vieser

Cornelius Remembers

From Cornelius Today’s Facebook page

Norah Dahlen I was delivering papers to a CPA client and heard it on the car radio. I felt disbelief, shock and some fear. Know I stopped at church t pray on my way home from work.

Pat Jackson Our daughter was in pre-K ; it was the first day of school. Another little boy named Jack McAleese was supposed to be in her class as well. Jack’s dad was a friend of mine from town, Brian McAleese. He was FDNY. Brian was killed in the collapse of the WTC…Brian left behind his wife and three other children. Brian’s funeral (no body) was attended by 3,000, Mayor Giuliani did the eulogy. I was honored to help fold the  flag that was presented to his wife and mother. It was surreal and insane. I attended a dozen funerals that fall. It could have been more except life takes over.

Ashley Sherrill I was in the 10th grade sitting on the floor of my chorus class at East Lincoln High School. We were all in shock as we went from class to class watching this unfold on TV and then they let us all go home. 2/3 of our school had a prayer circle around the flag pole.

Carmen Canady Was newly pregnant…shocked, scared, and wondering if we made the wrong decision to bring another life into this world.

Missy Stewart I was at AIB College of Business in Iowa.  I felt scared of what could/would happen next. Where else are they going to attack?

Christy Clark Giving birth to my first born son. I was confused and scared, so I turned off the TV and lights and focused on bringing my sweet baby in the world.

Donna Sebastian I was living in New Jersey right on the waterfront and I watched them fall from my living room window. We also had the television on and that’s when everything being broadcast went black.

Wayne Gregory I lived on Long Island in NY just the whole thing was like a bad dream there were no planes flying people from all fire and rescue were going to help

Mandy Roach Brown Had a new baby, a mom working at a hospital near the Pentagon, a stepdad in service of Air Force One and a dad flying. Spent the evening listening to fighter jets patrol the skies over our house near Quantico.

Lindsay Green Schoff I was in a graduate microeconomics class at the University of Pittsburgh. Classes were evacuated immediately after Flight 93 crashed in Somerset. When classes resumed, people were different. We were scared and mournful, but we all opened up. Strangers connected with smiles, politeness, and small kind gestures.

Jeff Tarte I was in a client meeting with the CFO at the Washington Hospital Center (WHC) in Washington DC. We saw the towers hit on TV. WHC is 8 miles from the Pentagon when the plane hit. The WHC is the health care command center when a catastrophic event occurs in DC. The conference room across from the executive offices became the command center to direct care of all trauma and health care response team activity. There was a surreal calm over the staff. Everyone knew their roles and responsibilities in an emergency. All of a sudden everything felt like it moved in slightly slower than normal speed.

Travis Norton On my pastoral internship ironing a shirt, watching on TV. I informed my supervisor senior pastor and we held a prayer vigil later that day.

Diane Barricelle I was still living in NY at the time. The most devastating thing ever to live through. No one knew what to say, what to do, or even what to think. Everyone walked around dumbfounded and crying. But the out pour of people showing their love for America was amazing. The day after every radio station played the national anthem at noon. To this day a lot of stations still do. I think it’s sad that NC does not recognize the day all that much. Very little is said on the radio, new stations mention it but as if it’s just another news segment and NOTHING is said within the schools. No moment of silence anywhere. I still walk around on that day as if I’ve lost a family member

Jane Tarney My brother-in-law, Jim, worked in that area of Manhattan..He was driving into the City when the first plane hit (he was still in NJ) – they were able to see the smoke from the WTC and he turned around and went home. He said you knew something major had happened. All the phones were out so he drove to my sister’s job because he knew she would be upset & worried! When he walked in, my sister and her co-workers were so relieved and happy to see him.

Anonymous “The world changed on that date.”