SIKESTON -- Two weeks after victims of the Sept. 11 attacks were honored, cards and thank you notes are still tacked on the bulletin board just outside Sikeston Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden's door.
"We expected some level of support but we certainly didn't expect all that we received," said an appreciative Juden. "We received many letters, flowers and plants. It was a very emotionally eventful week for us."
During the week of Sept. 11, DPS officers were bombarded with thank you cards and letters, plants and some groups even baked cakes for the officers.
"The most touching thing was the Memorial Wall," Juden said of the Wall which honored victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy. To see all of the names, you come to understand that was a great loss of life. That is definitely the largest single event that has killed that many professionals in my career. The number was twice what we suffer in losses in one single year."
Since that fateful day, Juden said he has noticed an increase in support Sikeston DPS officers receive.
"I think people have always supported us but since Sept. 11 (2001) more people have been more outward in their support," Juden said. "We've received more cards and letters thanking us for what we do and I have even had people stop me in the street and thank me for what we are doing. People are taking more time to make known their support."
Sikeston DPS Captain Dan Armour echoed Juden's sentiment.
"The public is more aware now in the roles emergency personnel plays, especially in tragedies and the sacrifices they make," said Armour, who was also quick to point out that civilians also helped save lives. "There were a lot of heroes Sept. 11 and some of them were civilians. Without civilian participation the loss of life would have been a much greater number."
While Juden expected some support he was surprised by where some of it came from.
"We had a tremendous request from children and schools to visit them the week of Sept. 11 and that really surprised me," Juden said.
Juden and the rest of Sikeston DPS are appreciative of all of the support they have been given.
"We want to thank the community for all of their support during the Sept. 11 events," Juden said. "I want the community to know that we seriously appreciate their support that they've given us."