AUTHOR: Jackie Naginey Hook
TAG LINE: Jackie Naginey Hook, MA, is a spiritual director, celebrant and end-of-life doula. She coordinates the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program through Koch Funeral Home in State College. For more information, please call 814-237-2712 or visit www.kochfuneralhome.com.
AGENCY: Koch Funeral Home
I’ll always remember where I was. Like many other Tuesday mornings, I was following along with my Rodney Yee morning yoga DVD while our infant son lay next to me on the floor. When I finished and switched the TV over to cable, it was on the Today Show. The image on the screen was of one of the Twin Towers in New York City with smoke billowing from it. Alarmed, I called to my husband, John, and he came into the room.
On most mornings, John would have already been in Manhattan. But this day, he was going in late because of an event the night before that went into the early morning hours. As we stood watching the screen, we saw the plane hit the other tower. I vividly remember our eyes locking with a look of, “What next?”
While we tried to maintain a level of calm for our six-year-old daughter, John called his friend’s office in a building next to the Towers and encouraged the people to leave. He called his coworkers and told them to stay home. Like many others in the world, we waited and watched. We waited, watched, prayed, stayed away and hoped for the best.
But while we were waiting, others were springing into action. Emergency workers were rushing to the scene to help. The courage, compassion and integrity that it takes to run towards danger is truly beyond me. Yes, I’ve stepped in the way of danger when my children were at risk, but for a professional who chooses to do it on a daily basis, I’m in awe and full of immense gratitude.
While holding that gratitude and in honor of the lives lost on September 11, 2001, Koch Funeral Home has joined with Alpha Fire Company to create a 20th Anniversary 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony. As two organizations whose missions are to care for and serve our community, this effort is designed to provide a meaningful space for neighbors to come together and remember.
Koch Funeral Home Supervisor and Funeral Director F. Glenn Fleming and Alpha Fire Company President Shawn Kauffman serve and care for this community. Fleming has spent more than 50 years honoring lives. And Kauffman believes strongly that “never forget” is not just a slogan.
The Ceremony will include guest speakers and a memorial ringing of the fire company bell at six specific moments of events on that tragic day. Afterwards, guests can tour the fire station and meet local first responders. Light food and drink will be available.
We hope you join us on Saturday, September 11, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Alpha Fire Company, 400 W. Beaver Avenue, State College.