Where were you? Local residents reflect on 12th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

Tony Casey • Sep 11, 2013 at 1:39 PM

“Gone, but not forgotten” is a truism applied to many tragedies where lives are lost, but few national tragedies hold the weight of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Many in the Johnson City area have strong memories and feelings about that day, and all that has transpired since.

Clarence Hall, a barber in downtown Johnson City who’s been cutting hair for over 40 years, said he was attached to his television for the entire day, watching all the news. Changes resulted from the attacks, he said, and they haven’t gone unnoticed.

“Everyone wants to see my ID,” Hall said. “And I get so tired of it. I’m 70 years old and I think they might need glasses.”

Gail Cox said she had the day off, and was buzzing around in a good mood. She said her good mood was quickly ruined and changed to sadness.

Cox puts 9/11 in historical context, as “a day that changed everything.”

Chris Dula, in a comment on a 9/11 post on the Johnson City Press website said that, as the greatest country there has ever been, it’s important to maintain ourselves in a civilized, just way, even in a sometimes chaotic world. He also spoke of a finding a balance in the way we carry ourselves globally.

“Debates continue today, as they always should, as to the most effective and appropriate manner to continue to engage the world while enhancing our safety as much as possible,“ Dula said.

Local organizations will hold commemorations and memorials in remembrance of that infamous day.

Jericho Shrine Temple in Kingsport will host a program featuring bagpipe players from the Jericho Highlanders at 7 p.m. at the church at 1100 Jericho Drive on the airport exit on Interstate 81. The presentation is set to include a display of all military flags and the songs that accompany them.

There won’t be any official speakers, and the program will center around the bagpipe music.

Howard Hensley, a bagpiper and an organizer of the event, said they’ve been doing a 9/11 presentation for several years now, and the popularity of it continues to grow. Hensley said the one-hour program will include patriotic favorites, but some won’t be played on the bagpipes.

“You can’t play the National Anthem on the bagpipes,” Hensley said. “There aren’t enough notes, so we play God Bless America.”

On East Tennessee State University’s campus, there will a 9/11 Memorial Vigil at the amphitheater at 7:15 p.m. The event is for students, faculty, staff and community and is a non-religious or denominational gathering.

Attendees are welcome to bring a poem, special dedication, quote or song to share if they choose to do so.

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