The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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September 11, 2011

Locals’ thoughts go to family on 9/11 anniversary

MANKATO — Steve Csizmadia was thinking about his brother, who was a New York City police officer on Sept. 11, 2001. He was helping to evacuate the World Trade Center, and survived the towers’ collapse.

Amanda Reinarts also came for her brother, who joined the National Guard and was deployed to Iraq from 2006 to 2008.

Donald Stemper came because he believed it to be a duty.

“I just came down to make sure there was a flag present,” he said, after placing a small American flag at the memorial.

About 20 people attended a moment of silence at noon Sunday to remember the victims of the attacks.

The city had earlier said it would blow the sirens at noon, but decided against it.

The observance was held at Liberty Place, a small memorial to the victims of the attacks that was built a few years after 9/11. Several people said they hadn’t heard of the memorial, located at the intersection of Marshall and Front streets, before then.

Csizmadia, a Mankato resident from New York City, and two children, 14-year-old Steven and 10-year-old Sam, were wearing NYPD shirts in honor of their family. Csizmadia said his brother is still at work as a police officer in New York, where the force is on “high alert.”

Donald and Marcella Goodburn, of Mankato, said their middle son visited the World Trade Center just a few days before the attacks. They said they were thanking God that their boy had been spared.

Reinarts, whose brother served in Iraq, said she was “here for him and for the soldiers that I know.”

She said she doesn’t want to politicize the event, but had mixed feelings about the war in Iraq as a legacy of the attacks.

None of the hijackers were from Iraq, and the Sept. 11 commission said there was “no collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al-Qaeda.

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