Charlotte golf tourney honors firefighter killed on Sept. 11
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CHARLOTTE -- More than 100 golfers turned out for the annual Steven Coakley Foundation Golf Tournament Monday.
Coakley was a new york firefighter, killed in the Sept. 11 attacks when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.
"It's good to remember Steve and I think the things we do in the community make a difference and that keeps people coming out every year," said Foundation VP Kit Sluder.
Now in its ninth year, the tournament once again fell on a pivotal point in post-9/11 history.
Last year, golfers teed off the day after Osama bin Laden was killed. This year comes on the heels of a tumultuous hearing at Guantanamo Bay, for the self-proclaimed mastermind behind the terrorist plot.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-defendants are charged with nearly 3-thousand counts of murder and face the death penalty. Saturday, they ignored and delayed arraignment proceedings by praying and removing their earpieces that provided Arabic translations.
"The people should remember that they came here to kill us and now they're making a mockery of our court system,” said retired New York firefighter Danny Naughton, who served with Coakley on Engine 217 during 9/11.
"Watching what's happening is making a mockery of our entire system after what they did to us," said Coakley's brother-in-law Edmund Walker.
As court proceedings play out, loved ones are focusing on the foundation. Money raised from the tournament will help fund scholarships at UNC Charlotte for future firefighters.
The foundation is also teaching young students about 9/11, using a mobile memorial featuring a steel beam from one of the towers.
"It's never going to go away and we hope people never forget," said Naughton.