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Sept. 11 births, weddings bring mixed emotions due to 9/11

(September 11, 2017) — While fear gripped the nation on Sept. 11, 2001, Reed Blazek was being welcomed into the world at what is now OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.

Reed’s mother, Jill, had no idea what was going on in New York and near Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., when she was rushed to the hospital around 9:30 a.m., but she remembers everyone at the hospital talking about the hijacked planes. In an effort to figure out what was going on, the doctors and nurses were watching the television in her room.

Reed ended up being born around the time the Twin Towers came down.

“He is the breath of life in the midst of all this tragic destruction,” Jill Blazek said. The 49-year-old Dublin woman said she remembers that right after Reed was born, the doctor said: “What a world to be born into.”

She called her family and friends to tell them about the birth of her fourth child, but the events of 9/11 cast a dark cloud over what should have been a joyous day.

“I wanted everyone to be happy with me, with this baby,” she said.

Reed is one of 53 babies born in Franklin County on Sept. 11, 2001.

“It was harder at the beginning because you do want to celebrate, but you also want to remember the lives lost,” Jill said. “He is something good that came out of this day. He’s a joy, a blessing in our life.”

Being born on Sept. 11, 2001, draws a lot of attention, and Monday is Reed’s 16th birthday.

“Sometimes I try to keep it on the down low just because it’s a tragic day,” Reed said.

Having a birthday on Sept. 11 is not easy no matter what year you were born, said Sophie Sugar, who turned 6 on the day the World Trade Center fell in New York City after being struck by two passenger jets, a third plane flew into the Pentagon, and a fourth went down in a Pennsylvania field.

“It’s been this weird dichotomy,” Sugar said. “A personal day to celebrate but a national day to remember all the men and women who gave their lives.”

One year when Sophie was in middle school, no one was able to wish her happy birthday because the Columbus School for Girls had a day of silence on Sept. 11.

Planning a Sept. 11 birthday is a challenge, said Sophie’s mom, Amy Sugar, 48, of Upper Arlington.

“You hate to not celebrate fully because that lets the power of evil win.”

Birthdays are usually a time for self-indulgence, but Sophie Sugar does not think that is necessary. She typically celebrates her birthday with friends.

“We celebrate time together more than me,” she said.

Despite 9/11 being notorious, Angelia Craddolph White and Jason White intentionally chose Sept. 11, 2010, for their wedding in Dublin.

“We chose that day because we are firm believers in taking the day back and making it a day to celebrate,” said Angelia White, now of Hilliard.

When they told family and friends that their wedding date would be Sept. 11, they were met with questions and confusion.

“I also had somebody tell me that was bad luck,” she said.

Eight couples got married in Franklin County on Sept. 11, 2001, which was a Tuesday.

On the flip side, couples such as Mary Ellen and Robert Parkinson picked Sept. 11 as their wedding day decades before “the” 9/11.

“We still think about it every anniversary,” said Mary Ellen Parkinson, 85, of Columbus.