September 3, 2014

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Ohioans commemorate Sept. 11 attacks

AKRON — As people across the nation marked the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with memorials big and small, the Summit County 9/11 Remembrance Project chose to recall the final words of those killed.

The public art display focused on the many emergency phone calls that were made by victims of the attacks.

“A lot of innocent and God-fearing people died,” said Eric Taylor, 57, of Akron, after he added his old cell phone to a 6-foot-tall plastic tube-turned-sculpture inside the lobby of a downtown building. A recording of 911 calls made on Sept. 11, 2001, played at the base.

Among other memorials, volunteers lit about 3,000 candles in the Tallmadge Circle at the center of the Akron suburb to remember lives lost in the attacks. A group of Tallmadge firefighters came up with the idea, an annual event since 2002.

The Ohio Statehouse marked the anniversary with nearly 3,000 small flags arrayed on the Capitol’s lawn in Columbus. Down the street, a flag was raised outside the Franklin County courthouse Tuesday morning at the hour when a plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.

“We must now be constantly made aware that a reoccurrence could happen at any time,” Sheriff Jim Karnes said during the ceremony.

In suburban Youngstown, a permanent memorial is almost complete. It features a five-sided gazebo, red-brick walkway, maple trees and the beginnings of perennial rose and annual flower beds. A chapel will be built, and artifacts to be installed include pieces of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon and a container of soil from the Pennsylvania crash.

More than $140,000 has been raised for the project through fundraisers and donation drives, said Lisa Oles, an Austintown Township trustee.

In rural Brimfield Township near Akron, an American flag that covers the side of a 160-year-old barn was hung by barn owner Gus Dussel two weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, and has remained in place as a memorial. Tarpco Inc., of the township, donated the flag printed on vinyl-coated material.

“It’s never come down,” said Dussel, 81, an Army infantry veteran of the Philippines in World War II. He said the 30-by-20-foot flag will remain on his barn until America is no longer at war.

In the years since the flag went up, Dussel said, people have stopped regularly to have pictures taken in front of it.