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Vets, safety forces honor terror victims



Published: Thu, September 13, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The service recalled the heroes and victims.

By D.A. WILKINSON

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

CANFIELD -- Dean McClain says there's a feeling of depression when you are around harm's way -- "It's kind of a sick blue, depressed feeling."

He drove a train for the military in Korea during the Korean War and recalled a lot of bombing. "Many trains were hit," the Austintown man recalled Wednesday. His train wasn't among them.

On Tuesday, McClain, now the adjutant of the United Veterans Council, said he had a similar sick, blue feeling when he learned of the airplane crashes that destroyed the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon and cost lives in a field near Pittsburgh.

"I felt, 'What do people want to kill each other for?'" said McClain, who is now a jeweler.

Memorial service: At noon Wednesday, he and other veterans, and Canfield police and firefighters gathered for a memorial service at the Veterans Memorial at the Canfield Fairgrounds. It wasn't a typical military memorial service since many, if not most, of the victims were civilians or police and firefighters.

"It was for the victims and the heroes that died in the World Trade Center in New York, in Washington, and in Pennsylvania," McClain said.

Those who lost their lives may not have been veterans, but "they are certainly brothers in uniform," McClain said.

There were 39,000 military personnel killed in action in Korea, the veteran recalled. Tuesday's attacks may rival that figure -- estimates of the number of workers in the World Trade Center have ranged from 40,000 to 50,000 and casualty counts are incomplete.

"It would certainly come close," McClain said. "This is a real tragedy."

Purpose: John P. Brown III of Boardman, and president of the veteran's memorial, said he organized the memorial service for two reasons.

"It was party to show unity with the community, and show the rest of the country the Mahoning Valley is here to support them," Brown said.

And there was a bit of good news, according to McClain. He had heard that several safety workers in New York had been found alive in the rubble of the collapsed building.

McClain and Brown differ on whether the service will become an annual event.

McClain wants the victims to be remembered and the service added to the events held at the memorial. Brown thinks an annual service may hurt the families of victims or encourage terrorists.




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