Published 11:23 am Monday, September 11, 2006
Brewton resident Saundra Woolen wants everyone to remember.
But five years after her daughter died at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, the reminders are still hard to bear.
So Woolen, a friendly and familiar face to anyone who shops at Brewton's Wal-Mart, will be taking next week off from work to avoid too many memories of her daughter Tamara Thurman's death.
Woolen was working at Wal-Mart on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when word spread through the store about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Tamara, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, was stationed at the Pentagon - and Woolen knew her oldest daughter would be working that morning.
Woolen frantically tried to reach her.
Despite the overwhelming fear, Woolen kept up hope. “I felt like it was all a dream, and I kept thinking it was all a big mistake,” she said.
Like many people who lost loved ones that day, Woolen hoped her daughter would turn up amid the confusion of the attacks.
And when Army representatives showed up at her door, Woolen was devastated.
Woolen's other children helped her through the loss. “And they still do,” Woolen said of her adult children.
The manner in which Tamara and the other 3,000 innocent people killed that day weighs heavily on Woolen - and she wants America to keep up its vigilance against terrorists.
Woolen and her family were able to attend a special ceremony at the Pentagon when a section of the building was dedicated to the memory of those who died there.
The family plans to spend this anniversary of the attack quietly. Still, she appreciates the support of the community over the past five years.