People pause to remember 9/11

WELLSVILLE – Like tears falling from the skies, an intermittent rain Wednesday stopped just in time to allow this community to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 in which one of its own was lost.

Wellsville native Cathy Salter was lost that day when the Twin Towers in New York City were struck by planes piloted by terrorists. Former East Liverpool resident David Scales died in the Pentagon when a plane was flown into that Washington, D.C. landmark.

They and the thousands of other victims of 9/11 were remembered with a ceremony at the Boy with the Boot statue, where a memorial to Salter was placed two years ago.

Mayor Susan Haugh welcomed firefighters from Wellsville, Highlandtown, Irondale and Liverpool Township who represented the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on that fateful day.

Speakers state Sen. Joe Schiavoni and state Rep. Nick Barborak both related where they were when they learned about the terrorist attacks that day and how they have affected the country.

Barborak was a young prosecutor and said, “Few across the globe could say they weren’t affected.”

He recalled that he could sense the emotion in newscaster Peter Jennings’ voice as he reported what was happening that morning, recalling, “Flight 93 (piloted by terrorists who were thwarted by the passengers aboard) flew right over our county. Who can forget the brave passengers who knew what they had to do? Their choice to act spared many more lives at the cost of their own.”

Barborak said, “While I reflect (on that day’s events), I refuse to dwell on the bad. While the terrorists sought to destroy us, they just ended up making us stronger.”

He reminded listeners, “Firefighters, police officers, EMTs and other brave citizens didn’t rush from danger but rushed toward it. People headed to New York. Our community came together.”

Noting that the fight against terrorism continues today, Barborak said that, nonetheless, Americans can look at the New York City skyline with pride and the memorials at Somerset, Pa. and the Pentagon to “remind us of our triumph.”

He urged those present to remember how fortunate they are to live in a community that stands behind them.

“When it’s time, we roll,” he said, in reference to Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer’s comment, “Let’s roll,” as passengers overtook terrorists that day.

In his third day of law school on Sept. 11, 2001, Schiavoni said, “I remember every little detail,” including how his teacher sent the class into a room with a large television to watch events unfolding.

“In your mind, the death toll is rising and people are taking it so differently. Everybody was strangers that day, but we call came together,” he recalled.

Saying he wasn’t around for the attack on Pearl Harbor or the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Schiavoni said the events of 9/11 “gave us a renewed sense of spirit and commitment to our country.”

He also urged listeners not to dwell on the negative, noting, “Every day someone does something evil, there are 10 people who do something good.”

The ceremony, dedicated in Salter’s memory, included prayer by Pastor Mark Blakely and Lindsay Ketchum singing the National Anthem and God Bless America

Veterans Don Brown, also a village councilman, and Dale Barnhart unfurled special 9/11 flags during the ceremony for guests to view, and afterward American Legion Post 70 hosted participants for refreshments.