Golf tournament to honor victim of 9/11 turns bittersweet

Golf tournament to honor victim of 9/11 turns bittersweet

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by RICHARD DEVAYNE / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @richardwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on May 2, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 12:08 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The night before five members of Engine 217 were set to tee off at an annual golf tournament to honor one of their colleagues killed on 9/11, it was announced that the man behind the attack had been killed by U.S. Forces.

The men are in Charlotte for the eighth annual Firefighter Steven Coakley Golf Tournament at the Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation.

The event is put on by the Coakley Foundation in honor of firefighter Steve Coakley, who died as he worked in the towers on September 11, 2001. His sister lives in Charlotte and organizes the event.

A piece of steel from the towers that was given to the Coakley Foundation sat at the fourth hole on Monday.

"It's a reminder of that day, a tangible reminder, not just words," said Frank Polin, a friend of Coakley and also a member of Engine 217.

Some of Coakley’s colleagues make the trip every year.

“That means the world to me,” his sister Kara Walker said. “It’s as close as you can get without having my brother back.”

Those friends and coworkers were with Kara Sunday night when they got a text message.

"Danny got a text message from one of our former lieutenant, who was with Stevie that day, to tell him what happened and everybody go watch the news,” said John Cottrell who was also inside the twin towers on 9/11.

He said when they turned on the TV and saw that Osama bin Laden had been killed the room fell silent.

"Kind of a surreal surrounding," said Cottrell "But it's a good feeling that the country did something good here."

“[It’s] kind of a relief, knowing he was taken care of and now we can move on,” Walker said.  

 

 

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