Lori Odishoo of Berlin wasn't prepared for what she saw when she and her husband, Matt, drove to New York City a few days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center to pay their respects.
"Words can't express what I felt looking at it. There was dust everywhere. It was so overwhelming," Odishoo, a former firefighter and current 911 dispatcher in Manchester, said recently. "We stopped at a few fire stations to pay our respects and it is hard to tell you how the firemen looked. They were almost haunted. There was such sorrow and pain in their eyes, it was hard to take.
"I wish I could be elegant with my words, but as I look back I still choke up trying to describe what we saw."
Matt, the fire marshal and a firefighter in Berlin, and Lori had to drive through a defacto war zone to reach rubble-strewn lower Manhattan that day.
"We had to keep going through these checkpoints because the area was still very fluid," Lori said. "We kept going and going and finally we were staring at what was left of the World Trade Center. We never expected to get there, but there we were in all the dust and debris."
The couple was deeply affected by the post-apocalyptic scene, and Lori vowed to never forget the people who died or suffered as a result of the attacks. Every year since the attacks, she places three candles (red, white and blue) at the bottom of her driveway at dusk on Sept. 11. Some of her friends and neighbors have done it in years past, but this year, Lori wants to start a national movement to remember those affected by 9/11, and she wants your help.
"With this being the 10th anniversary, my goal is to get everybody to (do it)," Lori Odishoo said. "The first anniversary, some people did it. And I do it every year to make sure we remember," she said. "But (this year) I want everybody to do it. I want the whole town to do it. I want the state to do it, and I want everyone in the country to do it."
Lori Odishoo has started a Facebook page titled 9/11 10th Anniversary Candle Memorial to rally people across the country to the cause, and so far has 613 people listed as "attending" the candle "event." People can also leave their memories and thoughts of Sept. 11 on the page's wall.
The red candle signifies firefighters and EMS personnel. The white candle stands for civilian lives lost, and the blue is for police and military.
"This may not catch on all over, but (Berlin) is pretty great and I hope everyone will join us in remembering those who were affected by the tragedy."