CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks The Cannon Air Force Base Honor Guard presented the colors as part of a Patriots Day ceremony Thursday at Patriot Outdoors. Patriot Outdoors owner Stephen Powell gave a speech on patriotism.
By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer
Marie Lou McAnulla said tears flowed down her face Thursday as soon as she turned on the radio in time for the moment of silence commemorating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
McAnulla, a zookeeper at Hillcrest Park Zoo, said the attack on the New York World Trade Center killed her brother-in-law’s aunt.
“I remember getting ready for work (that day) and turning the television on and watching the news and saying, ‘What the hell is going on?’”
A New York native and resident for 30 years, McAnulla said she cries every time she sees footage of the attacks.
McAnulla said she can’t say if her emotions are affected by a sense of patriotism, the number of lives lost that day, or because it happened in her native city.
“It just really gets me,” said McAnulla, who moved to Clovis 17 years ago. “It’s just that raw for me.”
She said she also knows two people who were in the twin towers at the time that escaped safely.
“I am appalled by the cowardice of the act, but yet I’m proud of the fact that we didn’t crumble afterward.”
Freddie Salazar, director of security at Clovis Community College, said the day is bittersweet to him. He said while thousands died that day, the tragedy rallied the country together.
“It made a lot of people appreciate what we have, what we are, and what it means to be an American,” he said.
Salazar, who also teaches at the college, said he took a moment to remind his students of the significance of the day.
He said events such as the United Way of Eastern New Mexico block party, which he attended, show the spirit of community the tragic event fostered throughout the country.
“For all the people who sacrificed their lives we still remember them, it will never be forgotten,” he said.
About 40 people attended the ceremony at Patriot Outdoors, where members of the Cannon Air Force Base Honor Guard presented colors. Patriot Outdoors owner Stephen Powell gave a speech on patriotism.
The Central Baptist Church held a dinner for area first-responders.