In memoriam: September 11, 2001

Taos remembers those victims, first responders of New York attack

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Taoseños remembered and honored those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Taos Volunteer Fire Department displayed a flag on its ladder truck Tuesday (Sept. 11) – in honor of the 343 New York City firefighters who perished on Sept. 11.

At the Not Forgotten Outreach Respite Center, Dutch Shultis (veteran, Navy) organized a group of veterans, supporters, and AmeriCorps volunteers in a ceremony to lower the U.S. flag. In his opening words, Shultis said, "We lower the flag in respect for our country and for all those who died."

Jacy Yang, AmeriCorps team leader at NFO, was selected to lower the U.S. flag.  "This is my first time doing this. I feel very honored and privileged to do so," said Yang. This AmeriCorps team has been helping at NFO since July. They leave in October.

Town councilor Pascualito Maestas (veteran, Navy) attended in his capacity as program director of Vet Corps at NFO.  For the time being, he is also serving as executive director of NFO. 

"With Vet Corps, we are starting a brand-new porgram helping vets work through post-traumatic stress and brain injury. We are helping them reintegrate back into society with eco-therapy. There's no other program like it," said Maestas.

Jim Cox (veteran, Marines)  said he is presently attending school to be an instructor for the new eco-therapy program. "In 22 weeks I graduate to teach agriculture, a new farming way called Cube Farming," he said.

On The Taos News  Facebook page, we asked readers to share their memories of where they were when it happened. The following is a selection of comments received:

Sheila Roberts: 'I was at our ranch (no tv, no communication), and heard the news on the radio. I initially thought it was an accident, and then they announced the second plane, and then the Pentagon, and finally the Pennsylvania crash. My husband left for work before the towers collapsed. He worked at a retreat center that had absolutely no outside communication and had the horrible task of telling the guests about the attack. He took many of the guests (some were from New York) to a high area near the retreat center so they could get cell signal and call their families. I was extremely insulated from the footage, but he had to share the news with people who were from the area, so our experiences were very different.'

Edwina R. Tenorio: 'My mom and I were in New York 2 weeks prior to the attacks on the twin towers. If I had known they would be gone, we would have gone to see them. I thank god we were not there on that day my mom and I were home. May god bless all the lives that were lost on that day and god bless their families.'

Randy Johnson: 'I was at the dentist on 6th Ave and 10th Street in Manhattan. After I left there, everyone on 6th Ave was turned facing downtown. I worked at Bankers Trust Plaza, just south of the WTC across Liberty Street. I would cross the WTC plaza nearly every day. Never to cross again...'

Jeremy Torres: 'My Memory of the tragic day was I was in flight on a C17 cargo plane on my way home from a deployment in Kuwait working A10s. We had launched out our 12 A10s from the Azores island in Portugal. While inflight it was announced that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Everyone in the plane thought it was a joke. When landing in Massachusetts it was nothing but craziness!! While checking into our rooms the second plane hit live on TV. We then caught our 12 A10s with our pilots very emotional. A few days passed and there was talk of us packing up and going back to the Middle East. That never happened and we returned back to home station in Tucson Arizona. This has forever changed the world and how we live our daily lives.'

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