Baha'i News -- Vignettes from the 9/11 anniversary in South Carolina Posted on Wed, Sep. 11, 2002

Vignettes from the 9/11 anniversary in South Carolina

The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Hundreds gathered in front of Charleston's Exchange Building on Wednesday as film producer Norman Lear and Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. opened an exhibit featuring a rare original copy of the Declaration of Independence.

The event included patriotic music and a moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks.

"Our hearts go out to their family members left behind. They will be in our hearts and prayers forever," Riley said.

The exhibit will be on display at the Exchange Building at the end of Broad Street through Sept. 19.

Lear purchased the copy, one of 25 remaining original copies, two years ago. The copies were sent through the colonies by horseback and read after the original Declaration of Independence was signed.

Lear told the crowd of about 800 that, when saw it, he knew it was "the nation's birth certificate" and decided "if I can obtain it, it will not wait somewhere on the wall for people to come and find it, it will travel to them."

Charleston is the first stop on the southern leg of a cross-country tour.

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COLUMBIA, S. C. (AP) - Gov. Jim Hodges attended an hourlong interfaith service at United Methodist Church Wednesday, one of dozens of services held across South Carolina.

Speakers representing the Baha'i, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Islamic faiths encouraged respect for differing beliefs during the service, attended by about 150 people.

"Because of what happened a year ago today, we all have to understand what each other believes," said Ginny Miller, a 71-year-old member of the church.

Islam has been gaining understanding, although it is still recovering from the blow dealt by Sept. 11, said Omar Shaheed.

"It has provided an opportunity for us to get to know each other," he said. "Americans have matured. They did not simply react."

Shaheed said Americans asked him and other Muslims about Islam to gain insight into the religion that terrorists said supported their attack.

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Employees of Merrill Lynch's Greenville office served as the wait staff Wednesday for a free breakfast for local police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

"We just wanted to say to local public safety officers that we appreciate what they do," said Bill Edmonds, resident manager and vice president of Merrill Lynch's local office. "They're far from New York City or Washington, D.C., but they are ready to respond when needed."

The company hopes to make the breakfast an annual event, Edmonds told The Greenville News. The Merrill Lynch headquarters, which was adjacent the World Trade Center, was damaged - although not structurally - in the attack.

"The lobby looked like a war zone," he said, but employees recently moved back into the renovated building.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A Charleston artist's sculpture inspired by last year's attacks will go on display at the Pentagon.

James Palmer completed the steel sculpture of an eagle rising from flames about a month after he watched planes crash into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"Like a lot of other Americans, I woke up the next morning with a vision and a personal determination," Palmer said.

Artwork from around the country is rotated in and out of the Pentagon building, where 184 people died during the attacks.

The sculpture is mounted on a mahogany base, and the eagle's wing span is three feet.

"This beautiful sculpture represents what America is all about and is a fitting tribute to the victims of 9/11," said U.S. Rep. Henry Brown, R-S.C.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - One memorial of the terror attacks on Wednesday consisted of a display of thousands of small flags.

The small plastic flags - one for each of the approximately 3,000 victims of the attacks - were lined in rows in one corner of Charleston's Marion Square by employees and listeners of radio station WAVF-FM.

Just beyond the square of flags, a number of other flags were set out to form the letters "USA."

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UNDATED (AP) - They are usually used to let motorists know about traffic problems or for hurricane evacuations, but on Wednesday electronic message boards used by the state Department of Transportation had another purpose.

Message boards along several major highways read simply: "SCDOT remembers Sept. 11."

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ORANGEBURG, S. C. (AP) - The state Department of Transportation on Wednesday dedicated two Liberty Gardens at the Santee Welcome Center on Interstate 95.

The Liberty Gardens are part of a national program that encourages organizations to create natural parks to honor those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The Liberty Garden program provides SCDOT with an opportunity ... to include a landscaping project that exemplifies the principles of freedom and liberty and provides a spot of tranquility to reflect upon the events of Sept. 11," said the agency's executive director, Elizabeth S. Mabry.

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UNDATED (AP) - Sept. 11 was a quiet day at the airport as many travelers avoided flights, said Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Director J. Garrett Jackson.

"The number of travelers was remarkably less than what it is on a normal day, but I think airlines expected that," Jackson said.

The nation's alert status upgrade from yellow to orange meant some minor changes in security for South Carolina's airports, said Mike Flack, of Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

Aside from a few canceled flights, Flack said, the day was pretty much business as usual.

"We paused for a moment of silence this morning," he said. "Other than that, we've tried to show the proper respect for the day but continue to meet the needs of our public."

Becky Beaman, spokeswoman for the Charleston International Airport, said the airport never discusses security. Beaman said traffic there has been slow as airlines combined some flights with few passengers.

At Myrtle Beach International Airport, travelers were offered free coffee and doughnuts - the airport's way of saying thank you for the business, The Sun News reported.

None of the airports reported any problems on the anniversary.

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GREENVILLE, S. C. (AP) - The day's final Sept. 11 remembrance ended with candlelight, "God Bless America" and the playing of "Taps."

More than 3,500 people turned out at the Greenville Braves' stadium Wednesday night for a vigil. The stadium walls were filled with patriotic artwork from elementary students and the parking lot was full of fire trucks and other rescue vehicles.

Tracy Tasaoa, whose husband is a State Law Enforcement Division agent, said she came to honor fellow law enforcement officer in New York City.

Yolanda Brooks also came to remember the rescue workers who died trying to save people in the World Trade Center.

"I came out here to support my county in remembrance of those who gave their lives," said Brooks, holding a candle in one hand and an American flag in the other.


©Copyright 2002, Associated Press

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