Boonsboro holds 9/11 parade

September 12, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

BOONSBORO - Stephanie Miller, 3, giggled, laughed and waved a miniature flag as Boonsboro's tribute parade in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks passed.

"I want to see the dog again!" Miller said. A local firefighter riding on the back of a truck was wearing a Dalmatian costume.

Saturday afternoon's parade down Main Street in Boonsboro on the surface appeared to be the same as any other parade dedicated to American pride.


Hand-held flags waved as bands marched by playing patriotic music. Spectators wore T-shirts with flags emblazoned on the chest. Even lawn chairs had flag prints on them. Firefighters, police and rescue workers waved with big smiles as they slowly rode down the street.

But the story behind this parade was different, and for families who attended, it was a chance to not only remember the attacks, but also teach a new generation what happened.

Miller is the granddaughter of Sharon Forney, 44, of Boonsboro. Forney said she and Miller were "just here to support firefighters. ... We appreciate what they do."

Forney said she came to the town's parade last year, and plans to do it again. She said she explained to her granddaughter "in words that she understands" what happened three years ago, and why the town was having a parade.

Dozens of people lined the sidewalk, as children screamed gleefully at the passing trucks. Toy pop guns popped and teens on skateboards whizzed by.

Jennifer Stultz, 28, of Keedysville, brought her son to the parade.

"It was great that they did that," Stultz said after the parade. She said Sept. 11 was traumatic for her.

"It made a big impact on me," Stultz said. "I don't know if (my son's) gonna remember about it."

Susan Funke, 37, of Hagerstown, was with her daughter and friends after the parade. Funke said her family had a moment of silence Saturday morning, and they talked a little about the attacks.

"It's important for my kids to see the firetrucks and see the sacrifice that they make," Funke said.

Even though the reason for the gathering was somber, Funke's 5-year-old daughter, Lilly, was unaware.

"I just thought it was fun to see," Lilly Funke said.

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