Sep 10, 2006
is the kind of place where birds, not cars are the dominant sound in quiet moments. SHANKSVILLE Stoney Creek Township
The peaceful nature of the town made the violence of Sept. 11 all the more painful for residents.
“I heard a very loud roar of an engine and I just turned to look out my front window,” said Val McClatchey, an amateur photographer.
“I immediately heard the plane you know, heard the engines screaming and just seconds later it hit,” said Rick King, of the Shanksville VFD. “The whole town shook, my porch rumbled - the ground just rumbled.
“It was so forceful that it almost knocked me off my sofa,” King added. “I jumped and grabbed my camera and on the front deck and saw the smoke rising over the hill.”
King was on the first fire truck to leave Shanksville and the first to arrive at the scene.
“I get up there and I look around and it was like - it was like where's the plane,” King said. “I mean there was just like small pieces that you could pick up and put in the palm of your hand just scattered everywhere.”
The fire fighters were rescuers with no one to rescue
Four years later, King declines all interviews and has reduced his volunteer fire involvement.
“Nobody wants to hang around anymore,” said Shanksville VFD Fire Chief Tom Shaffer. “Every time you open the doors anymore, somebody’s pulling in, ‘where’s the crash site? Where were you guys on 9/11 still’.”
Shaffer who was another first responder and is no less effected.
“It has never stopped since the plane crashed, there’s always something,” Shaffer said.
He feels compelled by his position so he reluctantly accommodates reporters.
“Sometimes it’s aggravating, when it interferes with your personal life then it’s aggravating,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer says they’ve experience the best and worst in people since that day.
McClatchey, who titled her picture “End of Serenity”, is getting a taste of the worst.
“I’d like to see him - the coward that he is - set foot out here and lay claim to that,” McClatchey said.
Recently a blog website has claimed McClatchey’s photo is a fraud.
“It makes me really mad, and that’s putting it politely in a very professional way - it makes my blood curl,” McClatchey said. “The simple fact is that they don’t even have their facts straight.”
McClatchey still gives the proceeds from the picture to a foundation for Flight 93 families.
The people of Shanksville, Lambertsville and
have learned that outside aggravations are part of being under a microscope. Stoney Creek Township
(KDKA-TV is the CBS owned & operated television station for
Note that the article doesn’t mention me by name, or link to my blogpost to get the whole story.
More of my comments on this article here.