Letter to the editor for Sept. 14
Monnes Anderson speaks at memorial
Since so few people attended the Gresham 9-11 memorial, I want to share the words I shared with the people who were there.
'It is wonderful to have a place like the Gresham Heroes Memorial to reflect and honor those who sacrificed so much for us. But today is the day to memorialize the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
The terrorists who flew the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Towers, the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and the plane that damaged the Pentagon murdered thousands of unaware civilians from 90 different countries. We all share the horror of that moment. We will never forget.
Today, we remember those who lost their lives. Bad things happen. I wish they didn't, but they do. We did not run away from the tragedy. We owned it. We are telling the terrorists to stop it. They cannot destroy us. They are not going to mess up our lives. We know those terrorists are not going away. They will try to attack us again. But we Americans are known for standing together, and in times like these we are definitely family.
I am so deeply saddened by those horrific acts against the United States. It hit me very hard emotionally. It was as if it happened to me and my loved ones. I hope the sadness of yesterday will bring understanding for tomorrow.
There is nothing we can say to ease anyone's sorrow, but may all Americans grow stronger and show those cowards, who tried to weaken us, that they have only made us more determined. We, after all, are proud, strong and very resilient Americans.
Sept. 11, 2001, is a day so tragic and truly unforgettable. It's almost impossible to find the words to express what's in my heart. I can only say that I am proud to live in this country where our values and freedoms make us a wonderful nation.'
Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson
Maybe we have forgotten Sept. 11
Our mantra after 9/11 became 'We Will Never Forget.' But Gresham has forgotten.
While across our country ceremonies were held, the VFW Gresham ceremony was attended by a handful of people. I drove home wondering, 'have we forgotten,' as I saw people mowing grass, walking dogs and having yard sales.
I wondered where the Chamber of Commerce, civic groups, school boards, principals, teachers and students were. I questioned, 'do we only show up for 'networking' opportunities, parades and sporting events?'
Why aren't we seeking opportunities to honor our countrymen? It took 3 nanoseconds to find the VFW ceremony on Google.
Let us never forget 9/11 and the brave men and women protecting our freedoms.
Sad showing for Sept. 11 memorial
I attended the ceremony (Sunday) morning for 9/11 at the Gresham Heroes Memorial on Powell Boulevard. How disappointed I was at the number of people who were there, about 30 police and firefighters, Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, Rep. Greg Matthews and approximately 20 people like myself were there to show our appreciation for the services our first responders do each and every day.
We were there to show our support for our brave men and women who protect us and are serving far away from their homes and families. I know it was a Sunday morning, but an hour of support for your city's first responders would have been nice. A very poor showing for our city - what a shame.
I have a grandson who is a Marine being deployed to Afghanistan in a couple of months, so very proud of him as he enlisted to do this job. So God speed to all who will be headed that way, my prayers and thanks are with you.
God bless America.
Regarding the letter from Debra Phegley
I just finished reading a letter to the editor that Debra Phegley sent The Gresham Outlook. Although it is true that Councilor Mary Wescott did read a statement at the end of the Damascus City Council work session, and did start off with 'How dare you,' she addressed that letter to our mayor, Steve, Spinnett, and not Ask Damascus.
Councilor Wescott is the wife and daughter-in-law of firefighters, and she was hurt that the mayor would choose to participate in petition signatures for a ballot measure supported by Ask Damascus during the remembrance of September 11th. In her statement, she asked the mayor to come and support the September 11th remembrance at Boring Fire Station instead of collecting signatures. Councilor Wescott was on the verge of tears during her statement to the mayor.
After the meeting was adjourned, my wife and I were talking with Councilor Wescott when Debra Phegley came up and said, 'I just want you to know that I am very patriotic.' Councilor Wescott stated that she was too and started to walk away from Debra Phegley, and that is when Debra Phegley's face turned bright red, and she became very agitated and aggressive toward Councilor Wescott.
Debra Phegley started yelling that you cannot tell us what to do. I was totally shocked, put myself between Debra Phegley and Councilor Wescott. I truly thought that Mrs. Phegley was going to attack Councilor Wescott. I watched as Debra's husband, Dan, tried to calm down his wife and that is when the mayor's wife intervened and escorted Mrs. Phegley out to the parking lot.
It was strange to see this woman go off the deep end for no apparent reason. I was so concerned by Mrs. Phegley's reaction and violent disposition that I and another citizen walked Councilor Wescott to her vehicle to ensure her safety.
Councilor Wescott never raised her voice or directed any negative comments toward Debra Phegley to cause such an adverse reaction. It appears that Debra Phegley took Councilor Wescott's statement to the mayor as a personal attack and lashed out at Councilor Wescott, and then made up a story how Councilor Wescott yelled at her to justify her inappropriate response toward Councilor Wescott.