Victims' families struggle

'Ijust don't want him to be forgotten'

By Craig Gustafson

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- "He died because he went to work. It just doesn't make any sense."

For some Minnesotans who lost relatives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Bruce Haviland's words sum up their feelings as Americans commemorate the anniversary with speeches, songs and silence.


Haviland, whose brother died while working on the 96th floor of the World Trade Center's north tower, honored his brother quietly Wednesday by laying four roses next to a tree planted in his honor. Tim Haviland, 41, was a computer programmer for Marsh &; McLennan, an insurance brokerage firm.

With his wife, Bruce Haviland placed the flowers around 7:30 a.m. at Macalester College in St. Paul, where Tim graduated in 1982.

"This is not an anniversary where pleasant thoughts fill your mind," Bruce Haviland said. "We need to recognize that this was the most horrific event in our nation's history and not lose focus of that."

Around the same time, the family of Gary Koecheler gathered with several hundred others at the State Capitol in a somber memorial ceremony. Koecheler was a St. Paul native who died in the attacks, while working on the 84th floor of the second WTC tower.

His sister, Mary Jo Heine, said the ceremony was a chance "to say goodbye to him. I felt things were left unfinished, unsaid.

"We didn't do anything last year. This year I just feel I just don't want him to be forgotten. But he won't be, I know he won't."

Koecheler, 57, worked for Euro Brokers Inc. at the World Trade Center. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Army, including service behind enemy lines in an intelligence unit. He received the Bronze Star for bravery in 1968.

Six of Cheryle Thedans Sincock's siblings honored her by taking part in ceremonies Wednesday in Washington.


Sincock, 53, grew up in Avoca and graduated from Slayton High School. She worked at the Pentagon for 15 years and was there on Sept. 11.

"I don't think there will ever be total closure for me," Sincock's sister, Janet Pequin, said. "I guess what I want is for the days that I think about it all the time to go away."

The family of Gordon Aamoth Jr. gathered Wednesday at the Blake School in Hopkins, where a new football stadium was being named after him. Aamoth graduated from the school in 1988 and was a football captain.

Aamoth, 32, also was the first name read from a list of more than 2,800 victims at the New York City trade center remembrance. He worked for Sandler O'Neill &; Partners on the 104th floor of the south tower.

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