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Cascade Post 239 unveils memorial

September 12, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

CASCADE - If terrorists thought their Sept. 11, 2001, attacks would break the spirit of the American people, they have been proved wrong, speakers said Wednesday at a ceremony at Cascade American Legion Post 239.

"America is as strong as ever," Washington County Sheriff Charles Mades said.

"We stood back up. We dusted off our clothes and once again defended the idea that all people on Earth shall be free," Sgt. 1st Class David Eisenman, of Fort Detrick, said.

During the ceremony, attended by an estimated 400 people, a Patriot Day memorial was unveiled in front of the Legion post.

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The memorial is a place where people can come to show their respects, Post Commander Gregg Stevens said.

The memorial has images of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field in Somerset County, Pa., the three places struck by hijacked planes Sept. 11.

The inscription reads: "Through blurred eyes, we find the strength and courage to soar beyond the moment. We look to the future knowing we can never forget the past. God Bless America."

After the ceremony, Fred and Debbie DeWees of Fairfield, Pa., each placed a single red rose on the memorial.

It seemed the least they could do, Debbie DeWees said.

Steve Dandy, of Cascade, said he doubts the events will be forgotten because they are "so ingrained" in everyone's minds.

There are three events burned into the memory of people of his generation: The attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md, said during the ceremony.

People will always remember where they were when they heard the news about each event, he said.

Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers read aloud a town proclamation that she wrote and signed to remember those who died in the attacks.

"May they forever rest in peace and abide in our memories," the proclamation concludes.

Among those at the ceremony was Lester Stone, 91, of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., who was a naval aviator stationed at Pearl Harbor when the United States was attacked Dec. 7, 1941.

He said for him, the Pearl Harbor attack was worse than the Sept. 11 attacks because he was directly involved. On Sept. 11, "I was just a distant spectator," he said.

During the ceremony, a new Legion-sponsored college scholarship program for children of military personnel killed on or after Sept. 11 was announced.

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