South Shore residents, scholar reflect on 9/11 anniversary |

South Shore residents, scholar reflect on 9/11 anniversary

William Ferchland

Sherry Ross held her son in her arms as she spoke of Sept. 11 and the terrorist attacks three years ago.

“It’s going to be a day that will always be remembered,” Ross said before directing her attention to 1-year-old James.

“It’s not a good day is it?” she asked him.

James could only shake his head and repeated the word “no.”

The toddler will carry a Prisoner of War-Missing in Action flag to his grandfather, Eugene Ross, commander of the American Legion Post 795, during a ceremony on Saturday at the post. Like similar gatherings planned across the nation, Americans will pay tribute to those who died from the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Even though Ground Zero is free of debris and the hunt for Osama bin Laden receives scant attention, the attacks by al Qaida operatives have been in the forefront this year.

A federal commission charged with investigating the hijackings of commercial airplanes published its report, “The 9/11 Commission Report,” which ranks sixth on’s top 100 best-sellers list.

This week, Vice President Dick Cheney referenced the attacks when he said Americans would be more vulnerable to a terrorist attack if voters picked Democrat John Kerry for president Nov. 2.

Alan Obermiller, a South Lake Tahoe veteran of World War II and the Korean War, said he felt it was wrong for any political party to manipulate the attacks for political reasons.

“I think it should be bigger than an election issue,” he said. “It shouldn’t be Democrat or Republican.”

Scott Lukas, a sociology professor at Lake Tahoe Community College who based a project and class on the terrorist attacks, said both sides are trying to exploit it. He cited the Republican convention in New York and Michael Moore’s film “Fahrenheit 9/11” as examples.

“9/11 is being used brilliantly now to worry about terrorism,” Lukas said. “If you’re afraid of terrorists, you’re less likely to worry about the economy.

“I think it shows to the current administration is trying to use fear as a tactic to basically stay in office,” he added.

Congressman Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., said fear shouldn’t be an issue.

“Just over a year ago, the Homeland Security Department opened it doors, and the largest reorganization of the federal government since 1947 began to secure our borders, combat bioterrorism, and protect critical infrastructure and transportation systems,” he said.


What: Sept. 11 memorial service to honor veterans of past wars and those who died in the attacks

Where: American Legion Post 795, across from Meek’s construction supplies on Lake Tahoe Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe

When: 11 a.m. Saturday

Contact William Ferchland at