INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. -- On Sunday, a Minnesota girl celebrates a special birthday with her father, a dad with strong connections to September 11th.
From the front steps of their Inver Grove Heights home, Sierra Tiedman looked back through scrapbook pages of the day she was born, as she also looked forward to one of her big deal birthdays.
She said with a smile, "It's a double digit number."
Yes, she is turning the big one-oh.
She said, "I like my birthday. I just don't like what happened that day."
It just happens that Sierra was born on September 11, 2001.
Her dad, Mark Tiedman said, "One of the greatest links I have to September 11th is my beautiful daughter."
Mark, a former airline mechanic and military veteran, remembers that day at Fairview Southdale Hospital. He said labor was tough for Sierra's mother, who was being induced.
He said, "I suggested we turn the T.V. on to get our mind off things and regroup and it was at the same time when the second plane hit."
He said the stress was too much, the T.V. was turned off. Sierra was born in a room facing the airport at 5 p.m. that day and she had more visitors to the hospital than her older brother Jack ever got.
Mark said, "We had a lot of visitors coming in it was a period of time where people wanted to get their mind off things and experience something wonderful in life."
Mark said the days following 9-11 were eerily quiet with no air traffic.
He said, "At that point I knew being a mechanic at Northwest that I was probably out of a job."
He was laid off one month later. He found a job at UPS and then helped reverse some of 9-11's effects.
He said, "I hired a lot of ex-Northwest mechanics during that period of time too. There was a great sense of satisfaction helping those people."
Mark has one other link to 9-11. He's a military veteran who served on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson during the first Gulf War. That just happens to be the same aircraft carrier from which Osama Bin Laden was buried at sea this year.
But as for this September 11th, it will be a time for family to celebrate Sierra and her birthday.
Mark said, "Yes there was a terrible tragedy in America and we should always keep that in mind and be vigilant. But we also need to appreciate the good things that happened on that same day as well."
Sierra is wishing for a cell phone. But as for her birthday, she wishes for no other.
Sierra said, "It's alright having my birthday on 9-11 and if I could change it I probably wouldn't."
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)