Tragedy hits home

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Funeral director plans signature log

Christi Guilliams, a funeral director with McCombs Funeral Homes in Cape Girardeau and Jackson, tearfully explained Monday why she is collecting signatures and thoughts from local residents in regard to last week's terrorist attacks.

"I love America, and I love God, and I feel like he's going to give us another chance through what's happened," she said. "I think he's going to work this to reunite our nation."

She invites people to stop by the funeral homes weekdays from 8:30-4 p.m. or in the evenings if the buildings are open. She will assemble the pages into a book for display at a memorial or monument to those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center attacks.

She has written the cover page:

"This book is presented to the city of New York in memory of the lives lost in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, and in honor of the thousands of rescue and recovery workers who selflessly served in the aftermath of the tragedy ... May we all seek God's face and pray for healing, that the United States will rapidly, diligently and faithfully return to a unified nation under God."

She hasn't set a date for when the pages will be compiled and sent.

Magna-Tel makes patriotic magnets

When Magna-Tel Inc. employees wanted to do something to aid recovery from the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the company's president recommended they do what they know best: making magnets.

Since Friday, the Cape Girardeau company has printed 15,000 car magnets with five patriotic designs and mottos: the American flag, in God we trust, towers of courage, God bless America, and united in sorrow, defiant in spirit.

Employees, downtown merchants and the American Red Cross are selling them for $2 each. All the money collected will go to the American Red Cross for local chapter activities and the organization's involvement in recovery efforts in New York and Washington.

"Only 10 or 12 employees took them to sell over the weekend, and they came back with $2,000," said president and CEO Mary Ann Farmer. They had raised $4,000 by Tuesday.

Farmer is asking those interested in purchasing the magnets to go to the outlets selling them and not to Magna-Tel.

After the initial 15,000 are sold, Magna-Tel will give $1.75 of the cost of each magnet to the American Red Cross and keep a quarter to cover the cost of materials.

Students to gather for morning prayers

Today is See You At The Pole day, a national youth prayer initiative conducted annually on the third Wednesday in September.

At schools across Southeast Missouri, students and clergy will gather at flagpoles to pray and gain strength from one another. The event typically begins a half-hour before the start of classes.

But the focus will be slightly different this year with the tragedies of Sept. 11. The event's Web site,, even lists prayers relating to the terrorism.

One is: "Pray for those who hate so much that they could do such terrible things. No one is beyond God's reach."

Philip Davidson, youth pastor at Lynwood Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau, will be at the Cape Girardeau Central High School flagpole today. He said it will be the first time in his memory that students pray around a flag at half-mast.

-- From staff reports

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