Annette Mallard wanted to commemorate the 12th anniversary of theSept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States in a way a GlynnCounty beach lifeguard could, one grain of sand at a time.
Wednesday morning she began crafting a sand sculpture fashioned afterthe twin towers of the World Trade Center that beachgoers would seethroughout the day at the Old Coast Guard Station beach.
The sculpture included two small American flags and raised letteringmade of sand, spelling out USA and 9-11.
By the time she returned from her lunch break with her colleague,Laura Ginn, to put the finishing touches on her creation, it hadalready become a hit.
"The island is lit up about that sand castle I built this morning,"Mallard said Wednesday afternoon. "Posts are all over Facebook fromrunners who came across it."
Mallard was one of many in Glynn County who remembered in some specialway the terrorists' airliner attacks in New York City and at thePentagon, as well as the crash of a fourth jetliner in a field nearShanksville, Pa.
As fog rose Wednesday morning above the campus of College of CoastalGeorgia, students, staff and others gathered around the flagpole. Theybowed their heads as they observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m.,remembering the exact moment the first plane struck the World TradeCenter, one of the most shocking events in America's history.
The college Psychology Club sponsored the ceremony to give students achance to reflect and honor the nearly 3,000 men, women and childrenwho perished that day, as well as those that fought and continue tofight for the nation.
Among the speakers was Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson, who remindedpeople how far the nation has come the past dozen years.
"What happened shook the foundations of our country, but it didsomething else," he said. "For several weeks after that, everyone wasequal, all lines of separation disappeared. We were all Americans, inour own way, poised and ready to do whatever we needed to do," Thompsonsaid.
"That was a profound feeling of realization. It showed that we, as apeople, we were all one. We remain one to this day."
A red, white and blue banner bearing signatures of students andsentiments such as "Never forget" and "God Bless America" was ondisplay in the student center throughout the day. The Psychology Clubis hoping to send it to the 9/11 Memorial or to service members whohelped that day.
At Glynn County Fire Station No. 1, which houses the department'sadministrative headquarters, Deputy Fire Chief Ray Marat spoke during aceremony honoring the fallen heroes who responded to the tragedy.
For Marat, watching from Glynn County and not being able to do anythingwas difficult.
"Here, as we watched, we talked about the challenges of getting firehoses, tools, air packs and personnel to the affected floors whileevacuating the building," Marat said of the World Trade Center."Obviously, we do not have the expertise in high-rise fires that NewYork has, but even with the multi-story buildings we have locally, wecould see how this was a major obstacle to overcome."
He pointed to a section of I-beam the fire department has on display inthe lobby at its headquarters on Old Jesup Road.
"This I-beam came from the mountain of rubble that the firefightersraised the American flag over after the collapse, in honor of those whowere lost," Marat said.
Raising the flag displayed the pride of the nation and the publicsafety personnel's commitment to those they're sworn to protect, headded.
Students at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at Brunswickgot a glimpse of a stuffed bunny that belonged to 2-year-old ChristineLee Hanson, the youngest victim of the Sept. 11 attacks. Christine wason American Airlines Flight 175, on her way to Disneyland, with hermother and father when the plane was hijacked and flown into the NorthTower of the World Trade Center, killing all three.
The bunny was donated by Hanson's grandfather.
"Christine Lee was love personified," wrote her grandfather, Lee Hansonin a letter accompanying the donation of the stuffed rabbit to thecenter's memorial.
"The students and staff of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centersare humbled by this thoughtful donation," said FLETC Director ConniePatrick in a prepared statement. "We will keep Christine's memory andher favorite rabbit as a reminder of why we are here each and everyday."
* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other localtopics. Contact her at