By Bob Weaver 9/11
It was an attack on America, a Day of Infamy, known to all as 9-11.
It was the last time that the Calhoun community came together to support one another and to pray for what was said to be several thousand victims.
Strangely, the remembrance of that Day of Terror rarely recalls the deadly attack on Washington DC, striking the Pentagon or Flight 93 that downed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
During those days, I, not unlike most folks, tried to make sense of the event.
That night the Herald received several photos of the Twin Towers burning and crumbling to the ground, photos taken by an executive in a skyscraper a block away.
The photos were shot through a plate glass window. Despite thousands of visual images on national media, we put the photos on the Herald.
A day or so later, I emailed the gentlemen, to inquire if he had a connection to our part of the world, expressing curiously why he sent them to an obscure publication like the Herald.
He replied saying he had never been to West Virginia, nor did he have any relatives here, just that he was reader of the Hur Herald.
A few days later, I called him during the early morning hours, to expand on my curiosity.
He said he commuted to the city by train, leaving his suburbs at an early morning hour to arrive in his office an hour or so before he commenced work.
"I spend that time surfing the net, drinking coffee and talking to some old friends by phone," saying by chance, using a keyword for "country things," he stumbled on the Herald.
"I live a hectic life, commuting and working long hours in this mayhem, and I started reading your site and looking at the photos every morning. It's always been stressful, but this takes the cake."
He continued to say, while looking at the destruction and knowing full-well that thousands were dying, he kept thinking about how much he would like to have his family in Calhoun County, West Virginia.
"I've read the Herald so often, I even know the cast of characters," he commented.
"And right now, never a lover of the big city, I'd like to be out of this hell hole."
A day or so later, I talked with a former Calhouner who lived in New York, generally working in Manhattan. He said on 9-11 he walked from Manhattan to his neighborhood several miles away.
"Every few steps I'd look back at the billowing smoke," as he picked-up his gait.
I asked him what he was thinking about on that long walk home.
"I thought about Calhoun, and that little farm I grew up on, and how peaceful it was there. I wanted to be there, more than anything in the world," he said.
"Bob, I just want you to remember, with all the problems you have there in the hills, it is a sacred and peaceful place."
"Don't ever forget it," he concluded.
During the summer nights, late at night, I sit in a chair in my yard, looking at the tree covered hills, listening to the night noises and gazing at the universal sky.
I am, at least for a short time, grateful for the wonderfulness of God's world, the mystery of creation and life, and the place into which I was born and still plant my feet.