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Contact the Accent Editor on the web at: Sept. 8, 2011
Mike Doak recalls horrifying days at Ground Zero, asks community to remember...move on By Leigh Ann Rutledge Accent Editor
As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, Pastor Mike Doak wants us to “re”member those who lost and gave their lives for the United States of America. Pastor Doak of Church of Christ Christian Disciples of Carrollton is the featured speaker at the 912 Project Ceremony set for Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. in Carrollton High School gym. The 912 Project was established to remind citizens how the US was united as a nation the day after the 9/11 attacks when race, political choice and religion weren’t the focus. Pastor Doak has a viewpoint on the attacks and how the country responded that is different but also similar to the majority of citizens. He was one of the few people to be onsite at the Pentagon and Ground Zero the day of the attacks. Reflecting back on that surreal time, he remembers the little things, that out of a tremendous tragedy, the spirit of the US shows and life goes on. “I remember it was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the sky was clear, just beautiful,” he said. SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 Mike Doak, special agent in charge of the Technical Surveillance and Forensic Science Division of the US Treasury Department, and his unit were in Norfolk, VA, participating in a joint training exercise with the Naval Amphibious Group, which began at 7 a.m. “As odd as it seems now, the cooperative training was aimed at assessing asymmetrical (not government sponsored) terrorist organizations and evaluating their elec-
‘Lest We Forget’ is theme of 9-11 event A 9-11 remembrence ceremony is Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Carrollton High School gymnasium. The theme for the event is “Lest We Forget.” This event coincides with the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Speakers include Pastor Mike Doak, Rick Eddy, Allan Furbee and Chuck Pearson. Those attending are asked to dress in red, white and blue. For more information contact Lisa Walker at 330-7390025.
tronic capabilities,” said Doak. Center in New York City. Tower 7 in the World Trade Cendiers treated badly upon his re“These training sessions are held The AT&T Telecommunicater Complex housed Secret turn from the war. “When we experiodically. Sort of a ‘war games tions Building is located across Service offices. Doak and his ited the Lincoln Tunnel, we were with electronic devices.’ Each the street from the Twin Towers. team were needed to set up a greeted by your average-Joe New part of the group has a part to The entire communication syscommunication system for all Yorkers standing there offering play. We were trying to see how tem for Manhattan and its Burlevels of government, which bebottles of water, waving flags and quickly we could lock onto their roughs is located in the AT&T came known as the “switchcheering us on. My friend was signals and eiastonished. Seeing ther decrypt or the response of the disarm them.” people, he was powAt 8:50 a.m. erfully overcome. It a steady caswas a healing for cade of particihim, he had come pant pagers full circle.” This was began to go off. one of many of the “The early re“little pockets of ports we rewonder sprinkled ceived said a within” tragedy. light commerOnce on-scene, cial aircraft the team estabstrayed off lished a repeater site course and at the FBI Joint struck the Command Post Fanorth tower of cility and worked the World Trade non-stop for the Center,” exnext 72 hours esplained Doak. tablishing encrypted “Within minsatellite, cellular utes, the asand landline comsessment was munication links. upgraded, inBeing the “Switchterceptors board of Ground launched and Zero,” they had the the Federal Avionly fax machines ation Adminisand burnt up three tration (FAA) of them processing ordered all primessages from 39 vate and comfederal agencies. mercial aircraft Doak and his team to land immewere responsible for diately.” Doak getting communicanoted it is his tions up and runopinion when ning to have a the FAA secure landing zone grounded all for President George aircrafts, they W. Bush when he probably saved visited Ground Zero. more lives. For the next 12 HEALING BEGINS. Americans began the healing process and watched in awe as the twin weeks, they helped At 9:20 a.m., light beams lit up the New York skyline following the September 11 attacks. This photo, pro- with rescue and rethe Secretary of vided to Pastor Mike Doak by one of his crew members, shows the Statue of Liberty taking on covery efforts, gathTreasury ada unique glow. vised Doak’s ered and processed Emergency Reforensic evidence sponse Team and recovered files (ERT) to respond to the Pentagon building. When the towers were board for Ground Zero.” and evidence lost in the collapse and initiate the continuity of op- hit, a large beam from one of the The Lincoln Tunnel is a 1.5of Building 6 (US Customs erations plans (COOP) restoring towers was propelled into the mile long tunnel under the House Resident Agencies) and 7, communication on a local, state side of the AT&T building. AT&T Hudson River, connecting Weethe Secret Service offices. and federal level. officials knew how to get their hawken, NJ, and the borough of Doak noted the site was a Doak arrived at the Pentagon at system up and running if there Manhattan in New York City. “cloud of dust” that gave it an 11:45 a.m. His group deployed was water damage, but had no Three tubes carry six lanes of “air of unbelievability.” All debris “CP-Majestic,” which was their idea how to protect and restore it traffic, close to 120,000 vehicles from the area was transported to rolling communications fleet. By after fire damage. Officials deper day, making it one of the a forensic facility at Staten Is3:30 p.m., secure communica- cided to shut the entire system busiest vehicular tunnels in the land where it was sifted and tions and a rescue/recovery plan down, thus knocking out all world. were in place at the Pentagon and modes of communication, resultThe ERT group traveling in Doak and his ERT were sent to ing in no landline or cellular CP Majestic, entered the LinGround Zero at the World Trade service inbound or outbound coln Tunnel at 11:30 p.m. “It from Manhattan for two weeks. was eerily surreal. We were Plus the damage to the the only vehicle in the tunnel Twin Towers severely deand that never happens,” said graded the Secret SerDoak. “The only sound was vice’s ability to manage our siren.” A member of secure White House Doak’s team is a Vietnam vetcommunications. eran and was among the sol-
ACTIVITIES Sept. 10 - Agriculture, Natural Resources & Conservation Expo at McClester/Kenwood Farm, 4701 Meter Rd., Mechanicstown. Exhibits, demonstrations, youth events. For info call 330-6279852. Sept. 10 - Dancing on the Bridge, Malvern. Arts & crafts, food, entertainment, vehicle show. For info, call 330-8631316. Sept. 12 - Carroll Co. Board of Elections regular board meeting at 9 a.m. in the board office. Sept. 12 - NOTE DATE CHANGE! PERI meeting at noon at Ponderosa. Speaker is Ollie Hawkins, superintendent of Carroll Golden Age Retreat. Sept. 14 - Carroll Co. Humane Society Rabies Clinic 5:30-7 p.m. at Carroll County Fairgrounds. Cost is $7 for dogs, cats and ferrets. No pregnant animals. All animals must be on a leash or caged. Sept. 17 - Car Seat Check 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Huebner Chevrolet, 1155 Canton Rd., Carrollton. For info, contact Carroll Co. Health Dept. at 330-6274866. Sept. 17 - Carrollton Class of 1943 reunion at Ponderosa from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 18 - Turkey Shoot at Leesville Property Owners, 5480 Autumn Rd., Carrollton. Doors open at 10 a.m. Sept. 18 - Lake Mohawk Fall Fest - Open to public 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Crafts, demonstrations, entertainment. For info or reserve your craft space, call 330863-1031. Sept. 24 - Scarecrows on the Square, Carrollton. Fun activities! For info, visit www.carrollcountyartscenter.org. See EVENTS, C-2
searched for remains and pertinent information needed by families of those killed in the attacks. Members of Doak’s team assisted in this process. His team also helped gather files and evidence from the Treasury office in Tower 6. The explosion at the Twin Towers caused a reaction that practically sucked the insides out of the building, stairwells were gone, along with drywall and ceiling tiles. Doak was one of the men who went inside the unstable building. “We knew which offices were on what floor and where to look for items,” he said. “We were gathering information on one of the floors, and the walls are gone, but there sits the secretary’s Rolodex on the corner of her desk, unscathed. And the window blinds were billowing in the breeze. The windows were gone but the blinds were intact.” Doak calls the Rolodex and window blinds more of those “pockets of wonder” or so-called normalcy in the scope of the situation. He feels these “little pockets of wonder” were signs that life goes on. “I went to find coffee for my crew about 6 a.m. Sept. 12 and was walking along and saw a wheel assembly from an airplane lying on the ground near a building. I looked at it in a kind of disbelief,” Doak explained. “Then I looked directly across from the wheel assembly and saw a bagel cart covered with soot and ash with the rotisserie still rotating and bagels on it.” (The rotisseries in bagel carts run off a car battery.) Doak admits he and his team, along with a lot of responders are somewhat desensitized to the situation at the time because they are there to do their job. “We were used to living out of a suitcase, not knowing what is coming next,” he said. “It all goes to back to those little things. We received passenger lists from the planes, manifestos, so much information. Then a fax came in telling a worker his wife had given birth and they were both fine.” See ATTACKS, C-2
AT LEFT: The AT&T Communications Building sustained damage as a result of a beam from one of the Twin Towers piercing the other side of the building. An American flag showed the country’s resiliance. CENTER. Four days after the attack on the Twin Towers, crews worked round the clock to search for victims. The South Tower, still partially standiing, is shown the background. ABOVE. Members of Mike Doak’s crew sort through the rubble four days after the attacks.
‘Pay it Forward’ quilt will be auctioned during Hospice event
Tea time at McCook House A “Civil War Tea” is planned for Sept. 11 from 1-5 p.m. at the McCook House Civil War Museum in Carrollton. Guests will be seated outside on the back porch, weather permitting, and will be served by members of the 1860s Ladies Study Group in period clothing. Cost is $5 per person and includes a tour of the museum, hot and cold tea, open face sandwiches, cookies and sweets. Reservations not required. The event is open to the public. From left is Shirley Anderson, curator of the McCook House Civil War Museum, Kay Gotschall and Haley Leslie, 4, of Carrollton.
The second annual “Treasures of Time” will take place Sept. 16 at Days Inn of Carrollton. This event raises funds for Community Hospice patient care in Carroll County. Everyone is encouraged to bring one item from the following categories to be appraised: glassware, coins, jewelry, watches, military and firearms, pottery, china and collectibles. Appraisals can be done on toys, linens, quilts, primitives and small furniture. A “pay it forward” quilt will be auctioned during the live auction. The family of a patient served by Community Hospice of Carroll County several years ago donated the quilt. The quilt winner will have the option to keep the item for him or herself or hold the quilt for a year and donate the quilt to a non-profit organization of their choice to use as a fundraiser. This is the second time the quilt has made its way to a Community Hospice fundraising event. The event features a silent auction from 1-2:30 p.m. fol-
lowed by a live auction at 3 p.m. While tickets are required for the silent auction and to have an
appraisal, the live auction is open to the public. See QUILT, C-2
Pixie Furbee, (left) and Marjorie Sanderson hold the “Pay It Forward” quilt being auctioned at the Sept. 18 Hospice event.