Column: It was an honor to remember 9/11 with Bellville students

Sometimes you get betrayed by the things you see around you.

Or the things you remember.

Though I’m a part-timer (money issues), I said I would be happy to cover the events *Sept. 11) in Bellville.

Today is 9/11.

An engaging young woman, Ashley Twedt, put together the events and invited local military personnel, officials and police officers to the Purple Star event at Bellville Elementary School.

Twenty youngsters at that school have parents assigned to various military installations.

You think, as a hardened journalist, nothing will affect you.

You’ve covered plane crashes, murders, political fiascos.

You’ve had your share of dust ups, too, on the professional front.

You’ve found that people can get very angry about how you write, or something as simple as a word choice.

You once said it was probably a valid recognition of who you are if you have people who like you and people who hate you.

I stand by all that.

I never expected people to fall in love with something that might be a teeny bit controversial.

I’ve had high powered people scream at me. A few have laughed.

What makes a person really know what they can handle is seeing beautiful youngsters, so happy to see their parents, that nothing can equal their smiles.

This hardened, emotionless journalist was good at covering the 9/11 event.

You show up. You do your job. That’s the rule.

As part of that, I shared with Clear Fork Valley School Board president Kyle Beveridge, a very significant memory.

On that day, Sept. 11, 2001, I still lived in Washington, D.C.

My business sold items at numerous farmers’ markets, many operated by the federal government.

We were supposed to go off that day to a market at the Department of Transportation. Word came of the horror at the Twin Towers.

Then, the word of the Pentagon.

We canceled the market, obviously. There was no way anything within the federal government was going to continue doing anything.

There was also no way I was going to continue having employees work.

We closed down.

We went home.

With the rest of the nation, we watched everything we could get on newscasts.

Living that kind of life, where you are so close to a real seat of power, has an affect I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Living in Washington was our choice. Many things about that life I adored.

The thrill of Washington? Enormous.

Other thrills, I think, are better.

I like my friends, my vegetables, my occasionally visiting hummingbirds.

We must learn to honor the simpler, more beautiful things in life.

And carry with us the enormous responsibility of honoring this day.


McZena Muse

Louise Swartzwalder



Louise Swartzwalder is a reporter and columnist for the Bellville Star.