Beaufort News

Area residents honor victims, vow to never forget

On Sept. 11, 2001, 1-year-old Cydney Boggs played with her toys, oblivious to her mother's frantic phone calls to family in Brooklyn. Cydney's grandmother worked in the World Trade Center, but fortunately was on vacation that day.

It gave Lauren Furman-Boggs goosebumps Sunday morning when her now 11-year-old daughter lifted her voice to sing with the Riverview Charter School choir in honor and memory of a terrorist attack she knows about only through stories.

From 8:30 a.m. to noon, more than a thousand people gathered at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in downtown Beaufort for a civic ceremony and worship service arranged by the city of Beaufort and 20 area religious centers.

Four times, almost to the minute of each hijacked plane crashing or losing contact, the crowd stood together for the playing of Taps in memory of the lives lost.

"I am just a mortal man with mortal words and no matter what I say, they will not ease the burden of the 112 minutes that changed America forever. A day of grief. A day of courage. A day that changed America forever," said guest speaker Phillip Woody, a retired Marine who worked at the Pentagon.

Choked up with emotions, Woody told the audience members that on a day when he'd rather not speak publicly, their attendance gave him strength and understanding of what America has to offer. Beaufort residents John and Erica Dickerson echoed that sentiment.

"You have to show up to make a difference. Everybody here is here to make a difference, to be supportive and helpful. And without all of us coming together we can't be free. We can't live the life we do," John Dickerson said.

Moving on with life is difficult, Beaufort resident and 9/11 widow Teri Maude reminded the crowd with her speech. Lt. General Timothy J. Maude, the Army's deputy chief of staff for personnel, was killed when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into his Pentagon office. Her husband, along with everyone else who died, was a hero, she said.

"Today is Patriot's Day. Today is about every single individual who gave their life on Sept. 11. Today we come together to remember and fulfill that promise we made to one way or another to never forget," Maude said.