This coming Saturday, Sept. 11, will mark the 20th anniversary of that tragic day in 2001 when Islamic terrorists overtook four jet liners and flew two of them into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City, crashed a third into the Pentagon in Washington, DC., and a fourth would have been flown another into the U.S. Capital but for the heroism of the passengers who forced the terrorists to crash the plane in a Pennsylvania field.
It was a day when nearly 3,000 Americans died and life as normal was put on hold as a nation sorted out a new reality. The attack on 9/11 is a day when many of us watched history unfold on live TV. Many will never forget watching that second jet slamming into the New York skyscraper, the collapse of the towers and people running for their lives.
On the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, the Record asked what people recall and their thoughts on what it all means today.
Dave and Nancy Nelson, Hayward
"What I recall is my in-laws living with us," said David Nelson of Hayward. "And when the second plane hit the tower, I walked out into the kitchen and said to them, 'I think World War III might have just started.' That's how I felt about it."
Nancy Nelson, Dave' wife, was teaching a ninth grade typing class in Hayward.
"I was in my classroom, and someone said, 'You've got to turn on the TV,'" she said." "It was like, wow, all the kids were just silent. And I spoke to a girl who was next to me. She was an aide in the class and I said, 'Oh, my gosh, we're at war.' Everybody was just shocked, stunned. They were just watching. I was surprised at the kids because they were mostly freshmen and they were just very quiet."
Marlene Hogue, Hayward
Marlene Hogue was teaching at the former Hayward Alternative School for high school students.
"So I was in my classroom, doing work, and several of the kids had their first period over at the regular high school, and they came over and started talking about this plane hitting a building," she said, "and I said, 'Why would you kids say something like that?' I found it hard to believe, but then we switched on a TV. And at that point the first building had been slammed into, and they were reporting on that, and then, while the TV was on, the second plane hit as we're watching this live, and needless to say, we had the television on all day long. Not a lot of schoolwork got done because we were so enraptured by this, this horrific thing that happened that day."
Later Hogue's students made coffee mugs to commemorate 9/11.
Hogue, a minister, said the good that came out of that day was the nation coming together, and she would like to see a return to the nation being united, especially to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joseph Klemencic, Rice Lake
"I was a sophomore in high school," said Joseph Klemencic of Rice Lake, "and so I watched the towers fall (while) going from music class to Spanish class. It was pretty jarring. I didn't really understand all that was going on at the time for sure."
Twenty years later, Klemencic said the nation seems more concerned about security, and he believes there has been some loss of freedoms because of that concern.
Katie Bohmann, Hayward
"I recall Sept. 11, being in the eighth grade, the homeroom, and our teacher turned the homeroom news on, and watching the World Trade Centers crumbling down to the ground," said Katie Bohmann of Hayward. "And everybody just got quiet and was absolutely startled and shocked at what was going on and more or less in disbelief, and questioning the direction America would be going next."
Twenty years later, Bohmann said, she hasn't forgotten but wonders if many have.
"I feel like some Americans have forgotten where we came from and where we're going," she said, "and I feel like we need to honor our military, especially in the last weeks regarding Afghanistan, and our Marines. And I just feel like some people have forgotten, but I've never forgotten Sept. 11, or how we all came together on Sept. 12."
Gary Reynolds, seasonal resident from New York
"I was actually in my office at Cornell University," said Gary Reynolds a seasonal resident from New York. "My job was the computer operations manager for transportation and mail."
Reynolds remembers that Internet traffic slowing because of the traffic.
"There was so much traffic with people trying to figure out what was going on," he said. "So the next thing I went into my boss's office looking at one of the TVs, watching the second plane crash in the second tower. It was unbelievable. I was in disbelief at what was happening. The first plane could have been an accident, but the second plane, you know, it was deliberate."
A constant reminder of 9/11, said Reynolds is that his granddaughter turned 1 year old on Sept. 11, 2001. Now she is 21.
Troy French, Roberts
"I saw on the TV what they suspected was just a regular airplane that had crashed into the Twin Towers," said Troy French of Roberts, "and they said, that's not that unusual. Apparently, it had happened before, so I was like, OK, no big deal. Then a few minutes later, you watched live on TV when the other one came flying and hit the second tower. And I could not believe what I was seeing. I thought, did I actually see what I just thought I saw?"
He also remembers watching the Twin Towers collapse.
"And I literally sat in my living room and cried," he said. "I couldn't believe what I just saw. I couldn't believe it. It was like a movie scene. The reality didn't sink in. The magnitude of what you just saw was incomprehensible." Twenty years later, French wonders if the nation, after initially coming together, has learned anything from 9/11.
"I think the country really came together for a long time with that as a common denominator, but I think that we obviously have become two separate countries politically," he said. "There's no middle ground anymore."
David Vanlandschoot, Hayward
"I was living in Superior at the time," said David Vanlandschoot of Hayward. "I was working in my garden that morning, a little vegetable garden. I came in the house, my wife was getting her makeup on and doing her hair in the morning. And she said that an airplane crashed into the tower in New York City. I saw the second one fly smack into it. And I said, 'That's no accident. This was done deliberately. I don't know what's going on. But we're under an attack of some sort.'"
Vanlandschoot said he remembers feeling frightened for the rest of the day wondering what might happen next.
Looking back, he said, America did some things right, like getting the terrorist ring leader who organized the attack, but then, he said, the country changed its mission and spent the last 10 years in Afghanistan for no good reason.
He is also critical of the way the military withdrew from Afghanistan. Being a Vietnam War veteran, he said, in Vietnam the military had two years to withdraw versus the few months the military had in Afghanistan.
Tia Reichert, Circle Pines, Minnesota
When 9/11 happened, Tia Reicher of Circle Pines, Minnesota, was working at an eyeglass store near Fort Hood, Texas, the site of one of the largest military bases in America. Out of concern for students attending school near the base, the military ordered schools within 30 miles to shut down and for students to gather in cafeterias.
"They had military holding all the kids in one room because they didn't know what really was going on," she said.
Gary Myslieey, Milwaukee
"I remember it really vividly," said Gary Myslieey of Milwaukee. "I remember going into work. I worked for AT&T and I still work for AT&T. At the office, the first thing in the morning we thought some kind of airplane hit a building. And we turned on a TV and we just were like shocked, like, wow. Then the second plane hit the second tower. We were in even more shocked, and we just sat there. And pretty much the whole day, instead of actually working, we just sat there and watched the news the entire day."
Myslieey had a sister living and working in Manhattan and his family tried desperately to reach her but lines were down with all the phone traffic.
'I was trying to calm my mom down, who couldn't get ahold of her either," he said. Eventually he learned his sister was safe, having been on the other side of Manhattan when the attack occurred.
Jerry Meyer, Hayward
Jerry Meyer was working construction at a home when he heard the news of the 9/11 attacks. He and his crew at first thought it was an accident, as there was a rumor the pilot might have been under the influence. Then, after the second plane crashed into the second Twin Tower, the crew all went silent, knowing it was a terrorist attack.
"We were totally devastated," he said. "It was almost like Black Sunday."
Meyer said he still can't believe that 20 years later people are still dying from the dust in the air left behind by the rubble.
Joan Jacobowski, Hayward
Joan Jacobowski was leading a canoe trip of teenagers down the Namekagon River when a lady leaned over a bridge and told her about the attack.
"My son was a flight attendant for United (airlines) and my daughter worked in DC a couple blocks from the Pentagon," she said. "I got out at the next landing and ran to the nearest house. The very nice lady let me call my kids. They were both safe. My son was training on the ground and my daughter had been evacuated two hours before the plane struck the Pentagon."
Michael Heim, Town of Bass Lake
"On 9-11 I was teaching my first hour biology class," said Michael Heim, Town of Bass Lake "One of my students, who had to step out, came back in and said that the TV in the library was showing a plane crashing into a skyscraper and that staff and students were gathering there.
"I took my class to the library and then we saw the second jet crash into the other building. Everyone was stunned. I remember in the days that followed not hearing the sound of a single airplane. Normally I would appreciate the peace and quiet, but knowing what the cause was made it eerie," he said.
Heim added, "I remember, too, virtually the whole world at our side in solidarity and support, but that not many days thereafter I was saddened and disheartened to see hyper-patriotism take over. Our country withdrew into itself, brushing off, rejecting the people of the rest of the world who would gladly have stood arm-in-arm with us against this terrible threat."
Regan Kohler, Hayward
"I woke up early that Tuesday morning in 2001 to the sound of my roommates calling out to each other from our rooms both downstairs and upstairs," said Regan Kohler of Hayward, who at the time was a 22-yearold college student at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD). "I ran out to see what was going on. They said the World Trade Center Twin Towers were hit by planes.
"I raced to campus, to the UMD Statesman newspaper office, where I was set to copy edit on deadline day. Instead, we all ran up to the student lounge to watch the insanity. By then, both towers were down, and the coverage showed people running through the streets screaming and crying, dust everywhere, and emergency responders scrambling through the rubble.
"As a future journalist, one of my first thoughts was, "What on earth would it be like to be on-site covering this act of terrorism?" she said.
She added, "As I was driving home that night, cars were lined up into the streets outside the local Holiday station, as there was a rumor gas prices were going to skyrocket."
Kevin Wheeler, Hayward
"I was working at Don Johnson Ford, which is now Timber Ford, where I work, and I was in the break room," said Kevin Wheeler of Hayward. "The only TV we had in the building was on and everybody was huddled around it, just listening, watching the news and watching everything go down. I didn't actually see the plane hit, but it was very unnerving. I don't really know if I can say that there was a specific feeling I was feeling that day. It was just very eerie for work to stop."
Troy Lundberg, Hayward
Troy Lundberg was in college at Ferris State University in Michigan when he heard the news. He was in his dorm room sleeping, and when he woke up, he turned on his old-school television/VCR combo and immediately saw the news of the first plane crashing.
"I didn't know what the heck was going on," he said.
After seeing the second plane crash, as with others around the world, he, too, knew it was a terrorist attack.
The Northwoods Humane Society (NHS) is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and will also celebrate both animals and their owners with a big event Sunday, Sept. 12.
The first NHS 1K Dog Walk & Ice Cream Social fundraiser is being held in conjunction with the Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness organization (OCSA) in honor of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. OCSA co-founder Vallie Szymanski and NHS President Deanna Persson partnered with one another on this celebration. Szymanski moved to Hayward and opened a branch in 2018 (the OCSA headquarters is in St. Charles, Illinois) and joined the NHS board. Shei co-founded the OCSA in Illinois and partnered with veterinarians and the health coalition.
"My two co-founders loved animals," she said. "My dad was a veterinarian."
The OCSA works to get awareness out about the silent symptoms of ovarian cancer, which typically affects women, but men can be carriers. Szymanski's group put together a dog sniffing team, for dogs to detect ovarian cancer. This was done in honor of her veterinarian's niece, who died from the cancer.
"We're all pretty passionate about what we do," she said. "People sacrifice a lot to take care of your pet. But don't forget yourself."
The mission is that not only do pet owners take care of their pets, but in return the pets takes care of them. Dogs are trained to detect cancer by sniffing odorants given off. The OCSA works with a chemical company, which translates the odors to an electronic "nose" in which the cancer can be found in a simple blood test. There is a scent wheel with blood and plasma samples.
"They're 99% accurate," Szymanski said. "They'll (the dogs) sit when they identify it." Szymanski reached out to Persson upon moving to the area.
"She's fabulous," Szymanski said.
OCSA and NHS got a grant to sponsor a feline spay and neuter clinic for low-income families. They are also working on another one in the near future. The OCSA also has partnered with Lynn's Custom Meats on fundraisers for the shelter.
"We've had a lot of fun," Szymanski said.
"They (OCSA) have embraced us, and one of their missions is awareness," Persson said. "Ours is to help animals in need."
The two women wanted to have a walk, and with the shelter celebrating its 25th anniversary, they felt this would be the perfect time.
"The Humane Society by itself has done dog walks in the early years of our organization," Persson said, adding that timing and other events pushed them to the back burner.
Sunday's event will open with registration for the walk at 12:30 p.m. The Sawyer County K9 Foundation will be on-site, along with Puppy Love. Then the opening ceremony kicks off at 1 p.m. with a message from Persson and OCSA co-founder Carolyn Asher. Ken Frame will sing the National Anthem, and the Honor Guard and Boy Scouts will bring in dogs to lead the walk.
The 1K walk will be held on the walking paths behind the shelter. There will be watering holes for pets and people.
The "sponsors" of the walk are Szymanski's own two dogs and Shirley Armstrong and Frandsen Bank.
After the walk, Dairy Queen will supply Dilly Bars and Pup Cups at the ice cream social. There will be a 50/50 raffle, "to celebrate our messaging and to support the society," said Szymanski.
All proceeds go back to the shelter.
The Northwood Huame Society Shelter opened its doors at its current location, on O'Brien Hill Road off Highway 77 in Hayward, in spring 1996.
"If memory serves me correctly, the very first resident was a small orange kitten," Persson said.
The organization's humble beginnings date back to 1989, with members working out of their homes or animal-related businesses, and Stove Works. The board committed to raising funds for building a shelter so the NHS could open debt-free. Fundraisers included the now-familiar Tag Day donations, Walk for Pets, a treasure hunt and a cookbook. The NHS Thrift Shop was already open, and donated $7,033 toward the shelter fund in its first eight months of being open.
The shelter was built, and a garage was added for equipment and a van. The pavilion located off to the side of the shelter was donated by the parents of Mandy McIntire in her honor. The garage eventually transitioned into a training center and isolation and grooming area for the animals.
Walking trails were already established on the property. The NHS then added the large dog park, and added another "bark park" for smaller dogs two years ago in memory of Frank and Myrna Cowan.
"These additions came from special gifts," Persson said.
The NHS Thrift Shop has been around for 28 years. It started in the Hayward Insurance building, then moved to the basement of the former Carnegie Library on Main Street, then skipped further up Main Street, but a fire forced another move to its current location on Third Street. Persson said NHS purchased this building, and "it was a great move."
Now, the only debt the NHS carries is the mortgage on the Thrift Shop.
Over the years, the nonprofit shelter has matured, with 16 dog runs, 44 cat units, outdoor play areas for both dogs and cats and an indoor exercise area. An isolation area handles incoming animals, and there is a whelping room.
The dog parks are open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset. The shelter itself is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The NHS is funded solely by donations, adoption fees, memberships, bequests and memorials, grants, Thrift Shop proceeds and events. It receives no funding from governmental sources.
There are approximately 35 volunteers in the Thrift Shop, which is open seven days a week in the summer and six the rest of the year.
"They work really hard and are very dedicated," Persson said.
At the shelter, volunteers staff the office, clean cages, walk and socialize the animals.
Persson noted that Bob and Glynda Von Arb "have made so many emotionally injured animals whole again . . . and available for adoption." She added that "Alecia Austin has been our shelter manager from day one. It's been a great journey."
New volunteers are always needed and are stepping in, and Persson said she can't say enough about "the value of our volunteers. We're really diverse but we all have one common interest and that's the well-being of animals. For me, the journey has been rich and rewarding."
"Not much has change since last week," said Sawyer County Public Health Officer Julia Lyons on Tuesday, Sept. 7.
That's not good news for Sawyer County, which last week and still this week in the "red" or high risk level of COVID-19 transmission like most of the counties in the state.
"We seem to be hanging around where we were a week ago," Lyons said Tuesday, Sept. 7.
There are 35 more cases of COVID reported in the county, from 1,977 Aug. 30 to 2,012 (1,894 confirmed and 118 probable) Monday, Sept. 6. The seven-day risk level per 100,000 population dropped a little, from 32.5 on Aug. 30 to 30.2 on Sept. 6, but two weeks ago the county was under 10 per 100,000.
Lyons said most transmissions of the virus leading to infection have been within households.
"We are seeing many more people within a household getting it from other members," she said, "but there is still community transmission as well, from an unknown source in the community."
Right before Labor Day weekend, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recommended everyone to wear a mask when in an enclosed space with others.
Joining DHS, Bayfield County Health Department also advised wearing a mask before the busy weekend.
However, it appears only a few are heeding the call. Most persons shopping in large stores such as Walmart were not wearing a mask.
The concern driving mask wearing is the Delta variant of the coronavirus, a highly virulent form of the virus that is even affecting some who have been vaccinated. However, those who are vaccinatedfare better than those who have not.
The official vaccination rate for the county just breached 51.1% of residents who had at least one shot of a vaccine, either Pfizer or Moderna or Johnson and Johnson. However nearly 60% of those 18 and older have received a shot.
In a zoom call with Hayward Area Memorial Hospital on Thursday, Sept. 2, it was reported many of those seeking medical services because of COVID are now mostly a younger population, those 20 years of age and younger, including those age 12 and younger, who are not eligible for the vaccine.
Information on where to obtain a free vaccine is available by calling Sawyer County Public Health at (715) 634-4806 or online at sawyer-county-covid-19-response-sawyergis.hub. arcgis.com/.
A Couderay area resident, Douglas Brian Baker, 47, was killed in a one-vehicle crash early Sunday, Sept. 5, on Highway NN north of the junction of Highway N in the Town of Couderay.
Sheriff Doug Mrotek reported that the Sawyer County Sheriff's Office was notified at 2:26 a.m. Sunday of a single vehicle crash on Highway NN.
County deputies responded to the scene, assisted by Sawyer County emergency medical services, the Wisconsin DNR and the LCO, Couderay and Bass Lake fire departments.
The initial investigation found that Baker was southbound in a black 2000 Dodge Dakota pickup truck when he apparently lost control of the vehicle. The truck entered the ditch line, struck a driveway and came to rest in a wooded area.
Baker, the lone occupant and operator of the vehicle, sustained fatal injuries from the crash.
The accident remains under investigation by the Sawyer County Sheriff's Office and Sawyer County coroner's office.
A funeral service was to be held Wednesday, Sept. 8, for Douglas Baker at the New Post Community Center.
The Community Against Meth and Heroin March, held Sunday, Sept. 5, on the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Reservation, was not for the faint hearted.
Nearly 100 persons gathered and walked the roads together on the reservation, accompanied by drum and song. But it was a lot more than a walk on the reservation — it was creative confrontation.
Marchers stopped at homes where drugs had allegedly had been sold and some of the marchers stood outside and spoke with a bullhorn, demanding the selling to stop, to have a concern for the welfare of the community and to come out and join the marchers.
James Cross of the White Earth Tribe in Minnesota, an anti-drug advocate, was one who stood outside a home in South Reserve pleading with a man inside to stop selling.
"We know what you're doing and we hate what you're doing," said Cross, who added the marchers had placed tobacco on the grounds to "wake up your spirit."
"This is a community effort," he said. "We are not telling the police. We are not telling the authorities. We are here to help. We've been you. We were you."
Ross, like some others in the march, identified himself as a former addict with a criminal record, who had found his sobriety and a new way of life, and he continued to invite the man inside to come out and change.
The marchers, many carrying signs, continued to walk around the neighborhood and were going to stop at another house allegedly where drugs were being sold when a young woman and man stepped out and joined the marchers.
Charles Jared Kagigebi, one of the march organizers, talked to the woman who said she was an addict and often used because she felt lonely.
"I stay busy to fight my own addiction which was with alcohol," he said, explaining how he maintained his sobriety from drugs and alcohol. Kagigebi said if she wanted help there was a community there to support her and sober people to be her friends.
Several marchers said they knew the struggle she was experiencing, and several hugged her and spoke words of encouragement.
Before the march, Ross and Mark Stone from the St. Croix Tribe, both said they had organized this type of march before in Native American communities and had seen a positive impact, including fewer overdose deaths.
Recent overdose deaths of LCO tribal members spurred the march, organized by Kagigebi, Steven Clause and Anthony Gouge. The marchers had gathered at noon under the pavilion by the tribal governing office.
Michael DeMain, who identified himself as a former addicted who had spent time in jail for vehicular homicide while he was under the influence of drugs, opened the meeting in prayer and then challenged the young men in attendance to take a stand against drugs and the negative impact it was having on the tribe.
"This community is suffering," he said. "It's all over Indian country."
DeMain pointed around to the younger men and said in the past it was the young warriors who would lay down their lives to protect the community and now was their time for them to step up and protect the community against drugs.
"All these young men here care about the community," he said, "and that makes me proud."
DeMain also called out the names of persons he said were selling drugs on the reservation and said they had to make a decision to stop selling or leave. Later, he said the community also had to reach out to those addicted because they needed help. He said the community shouldn't turns its back on them.
A sentiment expressed by DeMain and others who spoke is that a difference would only be made if the community got involved.
Amanda Thayer encouraged anyone struggling with addiction to reach out for services available from the tribe, such as Oakwood Haven Women's Shelter, the LCO Women's Emergency Shelter, the Men's Shelter and several other services for counseling.
Before the walk Kagigebi encouraged marchers to suggest where to stop.
"If you know somebody, man, don't be afraid," he said. "We'll stop there. It's not a time to pick and choose, even if it is family members. I've got family members who are involved, too, but I can only do so much. I feel alone sometimes with this, but together we are strong."
In the future, Ross encouraged the marchers that if they see drug selling to just stand outside the home by the road as way of protest, as a way of saying it isn't right and it wasn't acceptable. He said when a community does that it becomes uncomfortable for the drug sellers and they leave.
"We are not walking on eggshells anymore," he said.
Two LCO TGB members also spoke: Gary "Little Guy" Clause and Tweed Shuman. Clause said the tribe had to do more for its members, helping them from incarceration and with treatment.
Clause, who noted he is a former addict, said the tribe had to do more than just remove members from the reservation who sell or have an addiction but also to "show them a better way."
Shuman, who is also chair of Sawyer County Board of Supervisors, said he had never dealt with addiction, but he understood the struggle.
"We're looking at everything," he said about addressing the epidemic. "We need to just listen to the people, support all the efforts we do here, and there's more we could do."
One woman said what the tribe needed was to seek the help of Jesus, and a woman following her, a recovering addict, said she also found help in her native beliefs and teaching.
Another woman said she had lost her 32-year-old son to an overdose after buying what she said was "bad drugs," and accused another tribal member of selling her son the drugs even though he knew it was bad.
The mother also talked of the pain of losing family members and about her granddaughter who would grow up without her father.
After the march, Kagigebi said because of the positive response from the participants there would be other in the future. He added many who participated felt like they had done something meaningful.