'We have to remember' Sept. 11

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Silence. Remembrance. Vigilance. Action.

These are just four ways Americans respond to the Sept. 11, 2001, anniversary. Six years ago, nearly 3,000 people, including 400 emergency responders, died as a result of air attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and in Pennsylvania.

At Oran Elementary School in Oran, Mo., students will wear red, white and blue clothes for Patriot's Day. The gym will become a Red Cross blood donation station for teens and adults from 2 to 6 p.m.

"We thought it would be a good thing to do," said school nurse C.J. Brashear, "to show children they can make a difference. It's the sixth anniversary. The Red Cross was vital during that time."

Kristy Unger, Oran Elementary's principal, said she's keeping Sept. 11 explanations simple and advises parents "to just be very careful what you share. It's history and something we have an obligation to teach."

Remembering is part of an overall lesson plan. Sept. 11 posters by students will be displayed at the school today, Unger said.

In Cape Girardeau, elementary schools are marking the day, simply letting it pass, or using another time to talk about it.

"We save that for Constitution Day (Sept. 17)," said Alma Schrader School's principal, Ruth Ann Orr. "We'll have the mayor and town crier and Daughters of the American Revolution here."

Sydney Herbst, Clippard Elementary's principal, said she'll talk about it during morning announcements and have 11 seconds of silence.

"We're having a fire drill," she said. "We do talk about emergency services that day ... It's hard for the little guys to really understand."

Barbara Kohlfeld, principal at Blanchard Elementary, will include Sept. 11 in morning announcements but doesn't want to scare the children.

"It's like the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 'a day that will live in infamy.' It's sad but it's true and we have to remember." she said. "We have to remember."

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Clippard-Wilson-Taylor Post 3838 will display its Avenue of Flags at Cape Girardeau County Park from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

The city of Cape Girardeau is calling for a moment of silence at 10:05 a.m., the time that the trade center's south tower collapsed. The city also asks area churches to ring their bells at that time.

Along with remembrance were calls for readiness.

"We have a tremendous ongoing debate in our country about how to protect our homeland and prevent terrorism, but we also have an essential mandate to be vigilant and tireless in our efforts to secure the lives and liberties of every resident," said U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., in a prepared statement thanking soldiers and first responders. She cautioned that Congressional intelligence tools should "not overstep Constitutional boundaries."

In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, law enforcers remain vigilant and closely monitor FBI alert status, said Cape Girardeau police spokesman Sgt. Barry Hovis.

Homeland Security measures bar police from disclosing detailed emergency plans. Cape Girardeau and Jackson police departments work with Homeland Security teams and the FBI regularly, spokesmen for each said.

Since Cape Girardeau Regional Airport has been without a commuter airline for nearly six months, there hasn't been a need to enforce the restrictions established by the Transportation Security Administration in the aftermath of Sept. 11, airport manager Bruce Loy said.

Among the changes Cape Gir-ardeau Regional Airport made after the terrorist attack were an upgrade from black-and-white to color X-ray machines, a mandatory pass-through explosive detection devices for all luggage, and a moratorium on coin lockers and parking within 300 feet of the terminal, said Loy.

When Big Sky Airlines begins service in November, security will revert to TSA standards, Loy said.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 246

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: