Ceremony marks tragedy of 9/11; Cape Harbour hosts ‘A Day of Remembrance’
The mood was somber, reflective, with the crowd watching quietly as different speakers took turns at the microphone.
Perspectives were offered and different memories shared, as people came together once more to honor those who died seven years ago.
It was all part of “A Day of Remembrance,” a special tribute to victims of Sept. 11, held at Cape Harbour.
Cape Coral Fire Chief Bill Van Helden spoke to the crowd gathered on the deck of Rumrunners about the power of names, the names of the people who perished at the World Trade Center, and how those names still resonate with first responders all over the nation.
“The heroes were the people we didn’t expect, the people who rose to challenges of that day and brought us all together,” he said. “That day we lost many people and every one of them had a story.”
Nadine Skye-Davis was one of the driving forces behind the event. Along with fellow flight attendants Sharee McClellan Thieleman and Heather Magalhaes, she read the names of the crew members of the United and American Airlines flights that smashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, Pa.
Skye-Davis said the event was aimed at keeping the memories of those people, and everyone lost in the tragic event, alive and well in the minds of Americans.
“We felt like people were slowly not remembering the events of 9/11, and as we talked more and more to the community we realized people needed something to remember,” she said. “They really needed to remember and to cope, to remember everyone we lost.”
Pat Foote watched the chaos unfold across the Hudson River from New Jersey. She looked on in horror as the second plane — United Airlines Flight 175 — smashed into the south tower.
A Cape resident since 2004, Foote wrote a poem to commemorate the event, coming to tears while she read it to the crowd.
Like Skye-Davis, she feels these kind of events are absolutely crucial to keeping those memories alive.
“I was in a coffee shop a few years ago when I heard someone say that the whole thing is over, people should just get over it,” Foote said. “The healing process is ongoing and will continue to be ongoing. It was devastating then and it still is.”
The event was kicked off with a rousing rendition of the national anthem by City Manager Terry Stewart, and concluded with the tossing of 33 flowers into the canal behind Rumrunners to commemorate the 33 crew members killed on those fateful flights.
Kathy Kuzminski, another flight attendant who read the names of the crew from American Airlines Flight 11, summed up the ceremony perfectly when she said, “I did not know any of these people personally, but we are all family.”