Residents remember, but normalcy returns

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Look at a child. She responds to the pain of the moment with a howl, but a few seconds later she plays gleefully, the anguish reduced to barely a twinge.

That's how Americans should try to deal with the pain caused by last week's terrorist attacks on Washington and New York, said the Rev. Clayton Smith, pastor at Centenary United Methodist Church.

"A child's healing comes rather fast, they accept it and move on," said Smith, who is one of the coordinators of the Heartland Remembers Memorial Service, which is to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Show Me Center.

"Children believe that life is an adventure," he said. "They don't get stuck in the past. Children have a way of teaching us at a time like this."

Smith hopes the memorial service will help people remember and heal. The service will be broadcast on local television and radio stations and will be open to the public, Smith said.

The service, led by the ministerial alliances of Cape Girardeau and Jackson, will feature a church choir and have four separate parts -- prayers of remembrance for victims and their families, prayers for unity, words of hope and healing, and a "fireman's final alarm service," which will feature Cape Girardeau's fire and police departments.

The service will be followed by a memorial candle-lighting.

Donations continue

Some area residents continued to give blood Tuesday on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. The donors said they wanted to give blood to help those who need it, but they also are trying to return to more normal lives.

"Life has to go on eventually," said Risa Banashik, a 20-year-old senior from the St. Louis area. "Don't get me wrong, we have to find out who did this and go after them. But we have to get out of this 'oh-my-God' state."

Mona Sanford, a 32-year old American Red Cross nurse, said she still struggles with the events of a week ago Tuesday.

"But it's sinking in more," she said. "We need to get back to normal life as soon as possible. There's still blood to give and memorials to go to, but it's time to move on."

It will take some time for Jenu Wickware, an 18-year-old freshman from Cairo, Ill., to "get over it," she said.

"I think trying to get back to normalcy is OK, but it's not going to happen right now," she said. "We'll get past it, but not today."

Some of those who gave blood Tuesday said they were glad Southeast went ahead with its football game Saturday against Southwest Missouri State University.

"I felt weird going, but once I got into it, it gave me a chance to not have to think about it," said Darryl Spurlock, 41, a Southeast employee. "I almost didn't go, but it was good to get out and forget for a while."

Continuous images

Some felt compelled to tune out TV and its continuous display of the disturbing images of the planes pounding the World Trade Center towers and the carnage left behind.

"I had to turn it off," said Lyn Stoecker, 47, a Cape Girardeau resident. "I was taking out my videos. I had gotten all the info I needed."

Stoecker -- who plans to visit New York next month -- said if life doesn't return to normal, then the terrorists win.

"I will always remember what happened, we all will," she said. "But I'm not going to let it paralyze me."

Smith said people should move on with their lives but never forget: "As long as we remember, as long as we're willing to move on, that's the greatest tribute."

smoyers@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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