It`s been 11 years, but for Julie Betts, each anniversary is as heart wrenching as the last.
She says, “The first September 11th after we left New York City was really hard, but this one is sad, really sad for me.”
Spending the day at Gray’s Lake, helps her heal.
She says, “When you see it, you go, ‘wow theres so many… and you go oh wait, there are so many because there’s one for every person and then you just look at the sea of flags.. It`s a very moving memorial.”
Chelsea Kelly says, “It breaks your heart, because you think about all the families all the friends, you think about all the things you do in your own life, all the little stories, and you wonder about all of those that were lost that day.”
Tuesday in Newton, names of the lost were read.
Jeane Cleere says, “Today gave me the opportunity to acknowledge and recognize the other Iowa families that were hurt so horrifically on that day.”
The last name on that list was Jeanne Cleere’s husband Jim, who was in New York on business that day.
She says, “Jim was never found. As human beings we’re used to having a service a memorial, a place to go to remember our loved ones and that was taken away from me.”
Eleven years later, she finally has that place.
She says, “That moment showing a firefighter holding a child and handing it to another firefighter is what they do. They save lives.”
Jim Penny says, “It really brought 9/11 home to us. We’re in Iowa for God sakes, a long ways from New York, but knowing Jim Cleere was there, and here was his wife, it got pretty emotional.”
A day of remembrance that will last forever.
“To have something right here in our hometown, it’s very hard to describe the feeling,” says Jeanne. “I can come here and remember not only the firefighters, but remember my husband as well. And what a great feeling that is.”