TERRE HAUTE —
Whenever there is an emergency 911 call from the Cannon Inn, medics from the Terre Haute Fire Department Station 7 are quickly on the scene.
On Wednesday, the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, residents of the independent/assisted living community baked cookies and made a card to give to the firefighters, whose station is nearby at Fort Harrison Road and 13th Street.
“I thought this would be a way to thank them for being ready when we need them,” said Sharon Hathaway, activity director at Cannon Inn, located on Terre Haute’s northwest side.
About a dozen residents gathered in the activity room Wednesday morning. “Who wants to suit up to put them in the pan?” Hathaway asked residents as she looked for volunteers, who needed to “suit up” with rubber gloves to work with pre-made cookie dough.
Carolyn Hammond, 82, was the first to volunteer. “I want to show them [firefighters] we appreciate them,” she said.
Hathaway asked residents their recollections of 9/11/2001. When someone told Hammond about a terrorist attack, she remembers asking, “What’s that?”
Once Hammond realized the magnitude of what had happened, she recalls, “I thought, oh my Lord. Please, God, help us again.”
Cannon resident Rosie Halter remembers that after the attacks, “It was kind of scary. You didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Resident Margaret McKee thought that day, “They [terrorists] finally got over here.”
Hathaway recalled being low on gas and waiting in line to pay the “high” price of $1.75 per gallon. She asked her daughter how they could afford prices that high.
Today, she laughs, now that gas prices are much higher than 12 years ago.
Hathaway also talked to residents about changes since 9/11, including heightened security everywhere, including at airports. “I’ve only flown once since it happened,” Hathaway said, and she recalled a long line to get through airport security.
After the attack, “We definitely as a nation became more patriotic,” Hathaway shared with residents. The song “God Bless America” became more meaningful than ever.
The card to firefighters read: “Today, Sept. 11, 2013, all of us at Cannon Inn … would like to take time to thank the firefighters at Station 7 for always being ready to come whenever needed. We are so thankful for all of you and hope you know how appreciated you are.”
Among those signing the card was George E. Williams, who is 93. “I think they are a bunch of heroes,” he said.
Adeline Stark thought it was important to say thanks because firefighters put their lives on the line when they go to work each day.
Later that afternoon, Hathaway delivered the card and tray of cookies to Station 7.
“Enjoy, and thank you so much,” she told fire department captain Mike Miller.
“We really appreciate it,” he said.
Firefighter Paul Chalos said, “It’s nice to be recognized and thought of.”
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or email@example.com.