Sunday, May 19, 2013
Susan Moore thought the grief would diminish as the years passed.
Susan Moore, whose brother was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer
Visitors to the National September 11 Memorial walk Monday below the rising towers of 1 World Trade Center, left, and 4 World Trade Center. Tuesday will mark the 11th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The Associated Press
Her brother, Stephen Ward of Gorham, was one of nearly 3,000 people who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He was working on the 101st floor of the World Trade Center's north tower that morning.
Each year, Moore still endures powerful emotions -- memories of a cheerful, dedicated man and a deep sense of loss at his passing.
"I'm not working (Tuesday)," said Moore, who's a real estate broker in Windham. "If I look up and see blue sky and I'm brought back to where I was that day, I think it's better not to be at work, and be by myself."
On Tuesday, the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Moore will gather with family members at a cemetery to pay respects and privately mourn her brother.
Their public observance was held Sunday, when 250 people ran in the 911 Memorial 5K Run/Walk, a race to raise money for a scholarship in Ward's name. The race is a positive way to remember a man who was both ordinary and extraordinary, Moore said.
Sept. 11 observances around Maine will be muted this year, compared with the large memorials held here and across the country last year for the 10th anniversary, which fell on a Sunday.
Some events, like the road race, were held during the weekend.
The Maine State Federation of Firefighters Convention was held in Freeport during the weekend, and firefighters from around the state participated in a memorial Saturday.
Maine's Roman Catholic diocese paid tribute to police, firefighters and emergency medical workers at its annual Blue Mass, held in Lewiston, to mark the public safety response to the terrorist attacks.
Other events are planned this coming weekend, including the Maine Fire Service Institute's 9/11 memorial dedication at Southern Maine Community College's midcoast campus at Brunswick Landing.
The event will be attended by 20 fire departments from around the state and include the dedication of a section of girder from the World Trade Center.
On Tuesday, students, staff and faculty members at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland will gather at 8:40 a.m. at the Campus Center flagpole, where the flag will be lowered to half staff and a moment of silence will be held.
When the Bates College men's soccer team plays its home opener against Saint Joseph's College on Tuesday in Lewiston, players will wear commemorative 9/11 jerseys, which will be auctioned off to raise money for the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. The charity helps finance college for the dependents of people killed in the attacks.
In Lubec, the Congregational Church hosts a memorial garden in remembrance of Jackie and Robert Norton of Lubec, retirees who were going to a wedding on the West Coast when their plane was flown into the World Trade Center.
The garden is a lovely tribute, with a pair of pea shrubs and a bench, surrounded by irises, lilies and bleeding hearts, said Geraldine Green, a member of the congregation.
"It's beginning to look a little shabby because I'm the only one who's working on it," said Green, who is 87.
She has had trouble keeping up the weeding by herself and will suggest to the church council that it plant perennials that don't need so much care.
"We're going to keep it going as long as we can," she said. "As time goes by, you know how people let things go."
Todd Gitlin, a sociologist and professor at the Columbia Journalism School in New York City, said it's not surprising that the public ceremonies commemorating Sept. 11 have been scaled back.
The event isn't necessarily less important or poignant for people, but the passage of time has a tendency to reduce the frequency of such observances, he said.
That probably was true, he said, even for the Civil War, which had a nearly universal impact on Americans.
Susan Moore said public events have little bearing on her personal remembrance.
"I'm not terribly conscious of everything out there," she said. "There have been years, and there probably will be years, where we go to Manhattan and participate with the New York community."
For those who knew and loved her brother, gathering annually to raise money for a scholarship to help a Gorham High School senior attend college is an appropriate memorial.
Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: email@example.com