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Hobart silent parade speaks volumes

Gage Anders7 Hobart Ind. holds candle Sunday Sept. 11 2011 during parade city honor those killed during 9/11 terrorist attacks

Gage Anderson, 7, of Hobart, Ind., holds a candle Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, during the parade in the city to honor those killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks 10 years ago. | Jim Karczewski~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 9, 2011 3:15PM

HOBART — Zoe Anderson was just 1-year-old on Sept. 11, 2001, too young to know her parents’ close friend, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Jude Murphy, who was killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.

But her parents, Douglas and Sarah Anderson of Hobart, said Zoe’s heard a lot of good stories about the man who was her godfather’s brother, so she wept for him on her mother’s shoulder Sunday night as the three of them held lighted candles, American flags and photos of Murphy.

The Andersons were among hundreds of local and neighboring residents who held candles and watched in somber silence as a parade consisting of family members of Army Spc. Gregory Sanders, a Hobart man who died in Iraq at age 19, veterans, servicemen, future servicemen and women, police, firefighters and others walk or drive down Main Street in memory of the innocent victims who died at the hands of terrorists at the Pentagon, World Trade Center and in a plane over Pennsylvania, plus the troops who lost their lives in the wars that have followed.

“We’re here for the victims of 9/11 and for the servicemen; we don’t put him (Murphy) above everyone else,” Douglas Anderson said.

Clare Sanders, Gregory Sanders’ sister, wore a T-shirt with “In memory of Greg Sanders” printed on the back as she joined her mother, Leslie Sanders, and other family members in the parade.

“This is really nice; it’s about remembering families,” Leslie said. “It shows the country can still be strong despite everything we’ve had to face.”

She said Hobart always has supported her family.

“This is home; I have to be part of it,” Sanders said.

Michaela Bauman, a senior at Hobart High School and battalion commander of the Hobart JROTC, said she felt the night’s 9/11 memorial events — which started with a picnic at the city’s ball fields, followed by the silent parade down Main Street and candlelight vigil at Festival Park — were respectful and showed appreciation for what the troops have done in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mayor Brian Snedecor said about 400 people attended the picnic, plus those who came out for the parade and vigil. He said the day was a joint effort by the Hobart Jaycees. Holly Sandilla organized the events, Leslie Sanders said.

Greg and Cory Boswell of Hobart arrived by the Doughboy Monument, where the parade started about 30 minutes before it was set to begin. They had watched tributes on TV all day and recalled their own whereabouts when the terrorists attacked 10 years ago. Today, they were getting ready to watch their son, Matthew, a Hobart High School freshman and member of the JROTC, march in the parade.

They said they would have attended even if their son wasn’t marching.

Sharon Klootwyk of Merrillville, president of the Marine Corps Howling Mad Auxiliary Unit 93, joined the parade, although she was in a wheelchair.

“This is wonderful, after watching the events on television all day, to come out and support those people. This is some day we should never forget in our lives,” she said.

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