October 22, 2014

Local leaders reflect on 9/11 anniversary

James Kuch
An American Flag flies at the Arenac County Building. Many local leaders shared their thoughts and memories about 9/11.
By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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ARENAC COUNTY — The 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 2001 has come upon us. As it approached, local leaders in Arenac County shared their memories of that tragic day.

Standish Mayor Mark Winslow said he was working in Bay City the morning of 9/11.

“I remember someone came down the hall and told me that a plane had hit the (World Trade Center),” he said. “At that time we all thought it was just an accident.”

Winslow said he went into the company’s break room and turned on the television and was “shocked” at what he saw next.

“We just started watching the television and we saw the second plane fly into the picture and we all knew something was wrong,” he said. “It was almost too much to comprehend.”

Winslow compared the 9/11 tragedies to the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

“I was 15 years old when Kennedy was shot,” he said. “I felt the same then as I did when 9/11 occurred. I just felt like I could not comprehend what was happening.”

Mike Snyder, chairman of the Arenac County Board of Commissioners, said the 9/11 terrorist attacks are on the same level as the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

“I was just shocked when it all happened,” he said. “My first thought was that we need to go out and get these guys who did this.”

Snyder said he was home watching television when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.

“I was absolutely horrified at what I saw,” he said.

Snyder said he was amazed at how the United States rallied after the attacks.

“It was amazing to see everyone in this country come together,” he said. “It was like we all stood up and were not going to take it.”

Omer Mayor Alice Sproule said 9/11 was a sad day for her family.

“I was taking my husband into the hospital for an (operation),” she said. “We were just getting into the car when the first plane hit and the second one hit while we were on the road.”

“I would call it a day of great worry for my family,” she said.

Sproule said everyone she saw was watching the television.

“At first, most people thought it was an accident,” she said

Winslow said he feels like many things have changed in America since 9/11, but he said a lot of things have also stayed the same.

“There is still a lot of animosity and fighting going on all around the world,” he said. “I think we all still have a long way to go.”

Snyder said America is a safer place today.

“With the way homeland security is now, I feel like we are a lot safer today,” he said. “You can see that.”

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