NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- It had been five years since Col. David Scales lost his life when terrorists flew a plane into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. But his family can still feel the effect of the attack.
"The nation lost a hero," said Dottie Scales, the colonel's mother.
Five years later, the memories were still vivid. The Scales family was devastated by the man who lit up their lives.
Nancy Tarascio, Scales's sister, recalled the pain that she had to share with her mother.
"She realized that she needed to be thankful for the time she had with her son," said Tarascio, " and all the joy he brought to the family."
Col. Scales was only 44 years old when he perished -- just a year away from his retirement. He wanted to pursue his dream of a career in music.
As devastating as it was, Scales's death had a different effect on his family. Realizing that the most important thing is family, they decided to relocate to Wilmington to be close to one another.
"This just put a sense of urgency of our priorities," said Tarascio. "We felt like we needed to speed up our goals for the future."
Instead of living all over the nation, Col. Scales's family now spread out just across New Hanover County.
"I still miss him all the time," said Dottie Scales.
Though the memory may still hurt, the loved ones of the colonel at least had one another to help ease the pain of missing the brother and son they love.