10 years later, 9/11 pain remains

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Ron Shaw Jr. said talking about the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, still brings up the raw emotions of anger and sorrow.

“It is a bad pain,” Shaw said this week. “It was a terrible day. I didn’t know anyone who died there. But, it seems like we’re all family.”

This Sunday at 8:45 a.m., community members will hold a 9-11 ceremony to observe the 10-year anniversary of the events that shocked Americans and killed almost 3,000 people. The observance will be held at the Naples Town Dock on the Causeway.

Shaw plans to start the ceremony by playing Taps on his trumpet, followed by a rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, the national anthem.

The time of the ceremony will coincide with the approximate time that a hijacked plane hit the first Twin Tower of the World Trade Center (American Airlines Flight 11, 8:46 a.m., hits the North Tower), and moments later when another plane (United Airlines Flight 175, 9:03 a.m.) crashed into the second tower as television camera crews captured footage of what seemed unbelievable to viewers not only in America, but also around the world.

At 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.

And finally, at 10:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field.

The Naples Fire Department will sound its emergency siren at the town office at the times of those crashes.

“This is our way of honoring the 343 firefighters who gave their lives that day doing their job. Never forget,” said NFD member Rick Paraschak.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 10 years ago, Shaw was working in his shop — his business that was then located in the garage on his property. His long-time friend, Bob Allen, joined him that morning.

The Portland-based radio station, WBLM, began to report what was taking place in New York.

The two men thought it had to be a joke. So, they went inside Shaw’s house and turned on the television.

“We saw the second plane hit live, and our jaws hit the table,” he said. “Your immediate reaction is to run right there and help.”

Meanwhile, Allen — who had served in the Army for 20 years — jumped in his Camaro and drove to Fort Dix in New Jersey, where he tried unsuccessfully to re-enlist.

Shaw described the anger so many people felt in those days and months following the acts of terrorism that occurred on American soil. His friend worked through that fury by traveling miles to be doing something, instead of nothing, Shaw said.

On that tragic day, Trisha Shaw was working as a dental hygienist in Portland. Her wristwatch stopped working the same time the second tower was struck, he said.

Trisha Shaw grew up in New Jersey, while Ron Shaw was born there and raised in Maine. As an adult, Ron Shaw attended a trade school for Mercury outboard motors. The school was located in New Jersey. He toured the towers then.

“I have pictures of the kids in the ferry with the Twin Towers in the background,” he said.

Allen, Shaw and a few other community members have been holding the 9-11 observance since 2002, when they marked the one-year anniversary. Shaw encouraged area residents to bring American flags, flowers, photos of friends, or something to read as part of the ceremony.

“We’ve talked about throwing flowers into the water,” he said, adding wreaths might work well for that purpose. “It’s really only been a handful of us. I’d like to get the word out, and see how many people show up.”

He added, “We thought it was our duty to go down there, and think of those who died.”

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