Columbia area residents remember 9/11 tragedy 20 years later

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Everyone seems to remember where they were when they first heard the news of the terrorist attack of September 11th 2001.

Even 20 years later, remembering the tragedy is important to many people in the Midlands.

“First it was confusion and then just shock,” said South Carolina resident Ron Clamp.

Many Americans remember feeling the same. One Columbia resident remembers the added feeling of fear.

“When I looked at the World Trade Center, I had a sinking feeling because that’s where my brother worked,” said Columbia resident Dawn Yamashiro.

Her brother worked in the North Tower of the World Trade Center above where the plane hit the building. 

She has since visited Ground Zero since his passing to honor his memory.

“I hate to say I’ve gotten over it but I’ve learned to live with and tried to do good for my community,” Yamashiro said. “I feel like giving back has given me the peace that I need to be able to deal with this tragedy.”

Now she is involved with the nation’s second Tunnel to Towers 5K run and walk, which is held here in Columbia and begins Friday at 7.

Since then, she has also met others in the area who lost a loved one that day.

“It’s difficult when all the shows come up on TV but I’ve resigned myself that it’s going to happen. I just kinda get through it,” she said. “It’s nice to have family and friends to help you through it.”

On the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, a memorial for first responders in the Midlands who have lost their lives since 9/11 was dedicated. 

The man behind its construction remembers first being contacted by the 9//11 Remembrance Foundation of South Carolina.

“The enthusiasm. They believed anything was possible. They really wanted to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf,” said Clamp, who is a monument builder by trade.

The monument now features 59 names of first responders as well as two 25 foot granite towers and 2 steel beams from the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

“We’ve build monuments all over the country and this is my favorite,” Clamp said. “We’ve built bigger and smaller but this one is the people that represent us.”

It also represents a country that came together following 9/11. Both Yamashiro and Clamp say that the nation could learn from this time period.

“It definitely is a different world we live in now,” Yamashiro said. “A lot has changed in that 20 years.”

“We get divided over insignificant stuff,” Clamp said. “It’s easy to be divided but when it really matters, we come together as a country.”

Saturday morning at 8:40, a memorial service will be held at the monument towers outside the Columbia Convention Center to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Categories: Local News, Richland