Kaysville woman with ties to 9/11 deaths hopes for change

Sep 9 2011 - 12:17pm

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Standard-Examiner/file photo
In December 2001, Norman Wahlstrom (right) of Kaysville and wife Margaret remember Norman’s mother Mary Alice Wahlstrom and his sister Carolyn Ann Beug who were traveling and killed in the first plane that struck the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
Friemuth
Standard-Examiner/file photo
In December 2001, Norman Wahlstrom (right) of Kaysville and wife Margaret remember Norman’s mother Mary Alice Wahlstrom and his sister Carolyn Ann Beug who were traveling and killed in the first plane that struck the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
Friemuth

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KAYSVILLE -- A need to teach the next generation concern for all people is what stayed on the mind Monday of a Kaysville woman related to two women killed on 9/11.

Margaret Wahlstrom said the news of the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden led her to wish for a new generation with a different philosophy.

"The children of Iraq, they were cheering because they had been taught to hate," she said, recalling their reaction to the day in 2001 when airliners flew into the World Trade Center and into the Pentagon, killing thousands of Americans.

Bin Laden was recognized as the mastermind behind the attacks.

"It all goes back to educating our children so the next generation will be better," Wahlstrom said.

"As long as we keep fighting each other, that's not going to change the world. It's the philosophy that's going to change the world."

She admits that the deaths of her mother-in-law, Mary Alice Wahlstrom, of Kaysville, and her sister-in-law, Carolyn Ann Beug, of Los Angeles, have presented a daily hardship for her family during the 10 years since the two were killed in an airplane that hit the World Trade Center in New York.

But Wahlstrom said bin Laden's death will not change that.

"I kind of agreed with a father of a 9/11 victim who posted on a blog," she said. "There still are people out there that believe that America is an evil Satan. ... You look through the history of the world. How many wars were fought because of religion?"

Wahlstrom said she has seen society change to stop allowing people to be slaves and to see the value in those with handicaps.

"It took a lot of education and changing of ideas to realize that these people were valuable," she said, noting that changing attitudes is something society has to work at constantly.

Wahlstrom said she's hoping to influence society to teach people that it's OK to observe their religion and that it's also OK for others to have different ideas.

"You don't go around killing people because of this," she said.

But Wahlstrom said she also can understand why many are elated to have bin Laden gone.

"He was so elusive. It kept the wound open for a long time. I totally see why people see this as a significant victory."

And that was exactly the reaction of Ogden resident Ken Freimuth.

"It's a great day to be an American," he said. "We've needed something like this."

Freimuth, an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Weber State University who teaches security management, has extensive background with military affairs.

"We set out after 9/11, and we never gave up on achieving this objective of taking this guy out," Freimuth said.

"It shows the world that we are indeed leaders. When we say we are going to do it, we do it and we do it well."

Freimuth has been the head of security at a major division of a large defense contractor for the last 17 years with responsibility for two plants.

Before that, he had a 20-plus-year career as a U.S. Army officer in field artillery and military police organizations.

Freimuth called the effort to take out bin Laden an "exceptional mission."

"We showed a team approach using the CIA and the military and set aside any differences," he said. "These are very competitive people. We put that aside to achieve a common goal."

Freimuth said he doesn't agree with the term "global war on terrorism."

"We've always had adversaries, and we always will," he said.

But removing bin Laden was "one of those wins that we really needed," he said

"We've paid back for this terrible injury," Freimuth said. "We've paid them back, and I'm sure they'll take notice."

Freimuth called bin Laden and his followers cowards, as evidenced by news reports that, in the end, they used a woman as a shield.

"I'm just sorry that she gave her life up," he said.

"That's the kind of people we are dealing with. They have no respect for anybody. Hopefully, now they will have respect for what our military intelligence can do."

Freimuth's military career has included responsibility for security of nuclear and chemical weapons in the U.S. and in Europe. He also is a certified protection professional.

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