“Where were you when the world stopped turning?”
Bobbie Sears was at work as a switchboard operator at EMH Medical Center in Elyria. Her husband called her in her little room that morning and told her she had to get to a TV. When she did, she couldn’t believe the images she saw.
Even today, the photos from 9/11 seem unreal to her.
“It was like watching some kind of movie,” she recalled. “Even after 11 years, I just can’t believe it.”
Sears knows how real those events were and she knows those who were killed need to be remembered.
Sears and a friend she met on Facebook, Heather Sorg, decided just before the 10th anniversary of 9/11 that something needed to be done locally. Within two weeks, the women put together a candlelight vigil last year with the help of the Elyria police and friends who volunteered.
The result was a gathering of about 200 people in Ely Square.
“We were going to wait five years to hold another one, but then we thought, ‘Why wait?’” Sears said.
So the pair is planning again.
Sears compiled a moving video of images from the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Flight 93 tragedies set to the Alan Jackson song, “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?” to show during the service. The video also includes images after the attacks — building the monument at the World Trade Center and other images of hope — set to the Lee Greenwood song “God Bless the U.S.A.”
“The video starts with the planes and the burning, then shows the city, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania crash,” Sears said. “I think we forget a lot of that stuff.”
Sears created a book with the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks, including where they worked and what city they were from, which people can look through during the ceremony.
A bugler will open and close the ceremony and local singers will perform.
“Last year, we decided, ‘Let’s go do this,’ and we did,” Sears said. “It was very well-received. People are going to enjoy this. It’s going to be nice. I hope with it being on a Tuesday night this year, there is still going to be a lot of people.”
Sears is prepared for a crowd. She has 250 candles ready to hand out and hopes to give away every one.
Commemorative T-shirts with the saying, “Never Forget,” are being sold for $15 apiece to help offset some of the expenses. Anyone interested in buying a shirt before the event may call (440) 284-5560.
People are being asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to a local foodbank.
The 9/11 candlelight service is 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in Ely Square.
Contact Christina Jolliffe at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.