renewed sense of community was apparent to Donna Kirby on Sept. 13.
By then, word had spread throughout Scotchtown that her 21-year-old
son Chris - a carpenter on the South Tower's 107th floor - was among
The phone rang constantly, carrying messages of
hope and support. Friends, family and strangers showed up at the door,
offering whatever they could.
"I couldn't believe so many people could find the
time in their busy lives to be there for us," said Kirby. "Because
they kept my son in their prayers, I'll always keep them in mine."
the support the Kirbys received was not unique. Similar events were
unfolding throughout the region, indeed, throughout the country.
In the weeks after Sept. 11, attendance at candlelight
vigils would dwarf annual homecoming games. The small towns of Orange
County suffered greatly - Washingtonville lost five of its own; Warwick
lost eight - but communities responded in solidarity.
In Monroe, 600 hundred would show up bearing candles
to honor missing bond trader Thomas Dowd. Crowds at firefighter funerals
overflowed the region's largest churches. Like others across the nation,
locals posted flags in support.
said they noticed themselves stopping to greet strangers. Washingtonville
police Chief Steve Pascal saw people treating his officers differently,
with less suspicion, with more respect.
But community spirit wasn't limited to those directly
Locals received phone calls, e-mails and money
from places as far off as France and Australia. Businesses, governments
and individuals from Monticello, to Walker Valley, to Stone Ridge
collected huge piles of goods and supplies for relief workers. The
Sullivan County United Way received more than $40,000 for its Sept.
11 fund. That's about 57 cents for every man, woman, or child in the
© 2001 Orange County Publications, a
division of Ottaway
Newspapers Inc., all rights reserved.