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9/11: Through the eyes of 4 Trussville residents

By Bob Davis, Special to The Trussville Tribune

Where were you when the world stopped turning? Does it seem like it has been 18 years? Yeah, I know I stole the title from Alan Jackson’s iconic song that helped us get through the horror of the 9/11/2001 terror attacks. This was not unlike Kate Smith’s rousing rendition of Irving Berlin’s classic “God Bless America” that helped us get through World War II.

Here are four Trussville natives who will never forget where they were on that fateful day:

Adm. Robert Natter Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet/Fleet Forces Command U.S. Navy Norfolk Va 635 miles from Trussville.

The Trussville native grew up at 121 South Mall Trussville.

9/11: Rudy Washington, Deputy Mayor of New York places an emergency call to request air cover for New York City. Mayor Rudy Giuliani cannot be located and is feared dead. Adm. Natter answers the call and calls NORAD.

Robert Natter

Lt. Colonel George Peoples M.D. U.S. Army, Walter Reed Army Medical Center Washington D.C. 646 miles from Trussville.

The Trussville native and graduate of Hewitt-Trussville High School grew up at 207 Magnolia St. Trussville. After completing studies at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, Peoples headed for New York to complete studies at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

9/11: He led the first surgical team on-site at the Pentagon on 9/11. A helicopter was dispatched to his home in Maryland to airlift him to the Pentagon.

He was also the chief surgeon of the first forward surgical team (247th FST) on the ground in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003).

George Peoples

1st Lt. Jaimie Melton Anderson U.S. Air Force, Columbus, Ohio. 481 miles from Trussville.

Trussville native and graduate of Hewitt-Trussville High School went onto complete the U.S. Air Force Academy. She grew up at 114 Glenn Ave., Trussville.

9/11: She was trying to catch a flight from Columbus to Washington for an afternoon meeting at the Pentagon when the airport was shut down. She still has her unused ticket.

Jaime Melton Anderson

Midshipman 1st Class Paul Davis United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York. 948 miles from Trussville.

Davis, is a Trussville native and Graduate of Hewitt-Trussville High School. He grew up at 208 West Mall Trussville.

9/11: He was getting a Naval Reserve commissioning physical at Fort Hamilton, Army base Brooklyn, NY. Approximately six miles from Ground Zero. Davis returned to the Academy that morning and helped prepare the campus for use as triage/staging location for victims of the attack.

Paul Davis

After 9/11:

Adm. Robert Natter

Retired from Navy 2003 He was President of R.J. Natter & Associates, LLC, a consulting firm, serves on the McDonald’s Corporation Advisory Board; served as Chairman of the United States Naval Academy’s Distinguished Graduate Selection Committee and in May, 2012 became Chairman, Naval Academy Alumni Association’s national Board of Trustees.

Colonel George Peoples Jr. M.D. U.S. Army Retired after 30 years active duty 2014. He became actively involved in research and development of cancer vaccines. He lives in the San Antonio area.

Lt. Colonel Jaime Melton Anderson Reservist serving on active duty, served in the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s Executive Action Force.

Capt. Paul Davis New Orleans La. Ship Pilot Lower Mississippi River member of Federal Pilots and Docking Masters of Louisiana. As an apprentice in 2014, he and another pilot had the honor of piloting the USS Somerset from the Avondale Shipyard near New Orleans down the Mississippi and out to sea on its way to be commissioned in Philadelphia, PA. It was the last ship ever built at Avondale. Somerset is the county in Pennsylvania where the United Flight 93 crashed. The ship was one of a series named in honor of victims on 9/11.

All four grew up in Trussville within a half-mile radius.

They attended four different federal service academies.

They were all affected by an event hundreds of miles away from Trussville.

None of them have ever met.

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