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15 years later

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Flags at the Estacada Veterans Memorial were at half staff on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Early Sunday morning, Estacada paused to remember the lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

From 6:45-7:45 a.m., a group gathered in front of the fire station for a memorial service. Across town, flags were at half staff at the Estacada Veterans Memorial to remember and honor those who died on that tragic day.

The memorial service included a moment of silence at the time each of the twin towers fell and words from the fire district’s chaplain, Patrick Lumbroso, who discussed the importance of togetherness.

“I hope people take the ability to not let politics and religion take their tolls on our ability to face what we have to face together in unity,” he said.

When reflecting on the memorial service, Lumbroso said the moments of silence were particularly meaningful for him.

“A lot of times, there’s much more said in silence than in pronounced words,” he said.

Previously, a 9/11 memorial service was held at the fire station, but this is the first year that the fire department has organized it. Chief Richard Anderson said the that with the memorial, the department hopes to provide “a simple way to remember the events” of Sept. 11.

Lumbroso hopes the memorial expands in future years.

“I’m glad for those who came (this year),” Lumbroso said. “I hope to see more people attend in the future.”

Although 9/11 was 15 years ago, it’s still prevalent in the memories of many in Estacada.

Local business owner and artist Mary Whitney remembers she was home alone when she first found out about the attacks.

“I saw it on TV, and I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It was horrible.” ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - On the morning of Sunday, Sept. 11, a group gathered in front of the Estacada fire station to remember the events of 15 years prior.

Her two children were in elementary school, and it was difficult to tell them what happened.

“It was really hard to explain it at that age,” she said. “They were little kids. They didn’t really understand at the time.”

City manager Denise Carey initially reacted with disbelief as well.

“I turned on the TV just in time to see the plane hit the second tower, and I thought, ‘What movie is this?” she said. “It was unbelievable, and really surreal. Even looking back at it now, I feel disbelief, but I also see how easily it happened.”

Carey, who was Estacada’s city recorder at the time, remembers that she wasn’t coming to City Hall that morning because she had a meeting in Newport.

“I listened to the news for the entire drive,” she recalled. “It still took a while to sink in.”

Although the attacks took place across the country, many felt the effects in Estacada.

In the aftermath, Carey said there were increased moves toward safety at City Hall.

“We added additional protection to some of our essential services,” she said.

Whitney remembers designing many patriotic window paintings around town, including a patriotic Santa Claus at Christmastime.

She recalled that business was slow during those months.

“A lot of places were closed,” she said. “For awhile, I lost customers because they lost their customers. Everything just stopped. It seemed like the whole country slowed down.”

Lumbroso is glad the city took the time to remember 9/11.

“It didn’t just affect America,” he said. “This changed the dynamics of the whole world.”

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