Wednesday, January 14, 2015

City of Arnold, Missouri, 911 Memorial Service, September 11, 2014

On September 11, 2014, World Bird Sanctuary was invited to participate in the Arnold City Memorial Service and to bring a Bald Eagle to th Ceremony.

Wold Bird Sanctuary intern Crystal Meyers and I brought Patriot, our 19 year old Bald Eagle to the event.  We arrived at the City of Arnold Recreation Center at 8:30 am for the 9:00 am service.  We met with Susie Boone and Teresa Kohut who organized the event.  They let us know when and where the Bald Eagle would be in the procession and where to stand next to the Memorial Statue.  The Eagle and I would end up on the right side of the monument.
Event organizers had Patriot stand next to the monument (photo: Crystal Meyers)

Arnold has a piece of an actual contorted metal beam from one of the Towers of the World Trade Center.  They received the twisted metal beam from the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey.

The 911 Monument in Arnold, Missouri (photo: Mike Zieloski)

Fire Fighters, Police Officers, The Master Gardeners, City Officials and the general public were in attendance on this beautiful morning.  The Bald Eagle followed the Fire Fighters and the Police in the procession.  Music played and recordings of newscasts from that day were replayed.  We heard President George Bush’s voice telling us of the terrible events of that day.

All of the above brought back memories of where I was that September morning.  Just as with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, most people can tell you just where they were when they heard the terrible news of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Capitol Building.  I was at the old site of the World Bird Sanctuary, which was in Washington University’s Tyson Research Center.  I was getting ready to clean bird transport crates from our recently returned Sea World of Ohio Bird show birds when Marion Ernst, our Newsletter Editor told me the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane.  Then soon she told me another plane flew into the other Tower of the World Trade Center.  Then we all knew these events were not one random accident.

My dad called and said that my mom was flying back from an East Coast reunion and she was in the air at the time.  He figured that planes would be diverted and he was right.  He later called again, once he found out she was diverted to Pittsburgh.  I got off work immediately and dad and I drove to Pittsburgh to pick mom up at a hotel there.  What an intense day for my family and the whole country.

Do you remember that there were no airplanes flyng for four days?  Remember how quiet the skies were during those days?  Those events changed America.

Jack Poitras, bugler, his dog Bliss, and I pose next to the Arnold 911 monument (photo: Crystal Meyers)

The City of Arnold will not forget.  The Memorial Service was well organized and very meaningful to me and many others that day.  I was glad Patriot the Bald Eagle was there to represent World Bird Sanctuary, Arnold and America.

Submitted by Mike Zieloski, World Bird Sanctuary Director of Education

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember that day well. I had just turned 16 the month before, and was hanging around the house. I remember turning on the tv, to watch the news, and seeing a tall skyscraper being shown with clouds of billowing smoke coming out of an unnatural hole in the side. I remember noticing that the video being showed had the words LIVE on it. It was surreal. I remember the voice of the news anchors, trying to find the words to explain what was going on. Their voices were tense, scared, but they worked hard to do their job of informing the public to the goings-on in New York, trying to play out whether this was a tragic accident, or a deliberate action. I remember them saying that the Pentagon had been hit, then as they were speaking, another plane came into the camera sights and flew directly into the second tower. I couldn't believe what I saw. Neither could the news anchors. I remember the words "It's official. There has been a Terrorist Attack on the United States" I couldn't breathe, and couldn't take my eyes off the tv.