Local News

Clayton Festival Overshadowed By Police Death, Terrorism

Posted September 16, 2001 10:08 a.m. EDT

— For people in the town of Clayton, the death of a police officer yesterday only intensified those emotions of a week which saw devastating terrorist acts in New York and at the Pentagon.

Saturday's Harvest Day Festival in Clayton would have been a celebration, but it became something quite different.

"Someone said the flags have been lowered as far as they can go. What can we do now?" said one woman at the festival.

A suspected drug dealer ran over Lt. Monica Carey Friday at a fast-food restaurant. Other officers fired shots, killing the driver, Omar Garcia Fernandez.

Despite the grief, the annual festival went on.

"She was in charge of the security for this festival. She has two children, and she was very concerned about the welfare of our children in Clayton," Diane Thompson, president of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce said.

A collection raised money for Carey's children.

Across the way, another collection was held, this one for the families of rescue workers in New York who also died in the line of duty.

With all that has happened this week, the festival is different than in years past. Rather than a celebration, it has become a diversion.

"It's a very good distraction, because otherwise you have your eyes glued to what's going on on television," Walt Peterson, who attended the festival, said.

"When we go home, it's going to be back there, what's going on in New York, so this is just sort of a reprieve from that," a woman said.

"We just wanted to be sure that everyone remembers Monica as a wonderful community person, a wonderful civic person, as well as a mother and a wife," Thompson said.

Visitation for Carey will be Monday from 7-9 p.m. at St. Andrew's Valley Chapel, in Wilmington. Her funeral will be Tuesday morning at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also in Wilmington.

You can also help Carey's children. Donations can be made at any Bank of America, or at the Clayton Chamber of Commerce.