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'Lest we forget': Chaplain tells stories of 9/11 Sunday in Summerfield

Gary Kadow
Courtesy photo
Gary Kadow
Gary Kadow

Villages resident Gary Kadow has stories of horror and courage and sacrifice from his time as an American Red Cross volunteer and Episcopal chaplain at Ground Zero.

Kadow, 77, is bringing his message to the First Responders Recreation Center in Summerfield Sunday, one day before the 9/11 anniversary.

Monday will be 22 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

Kadow said he was a retired federal official who, as a Red Cross volunteer, helped coordinate efforts for the New York governor. After work, he would return — for 10 days in a row — to the ruins of the World Trade Center to serve as a chaplain.

Kadow said it was "exactly what hell must be like," but he emphasized the good he saw as people pulled together.

"It didn't matter what your religion was or ... race," he said. "It certainly didn't matter what your politics were. And that's the greatest detriment right now. The hatred and the division because of political beliefs. None of that came into play. We were all Americans, all pulling on the same oar to get where we needed to be. And that's what I want to remind people of. We can do that again."

His presentations, titled "Lest we forget," run for about 30 minutes. They'll begin at 9 a.m. and continue until about 4:30 p.m. Kadow, who runs a veterans nonprofit called Project SOS - Support Our Soldiers. says many family members of people who died on September 11 spoke with him after last year's event.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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