We will Never Forget

September 19, 2014

by AJ Dickinson

September 11, 2001, is a day that Americans will never forget.

At 8:45 a.m., on a clear Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.  Eighteen minutes later, with evacuation of both of the twin towers underway, the unthinkable unfolded before the eyes of thousands of New Yorkers.  Caught in the midst of their morning commute, they watched in horror as a second Boeing 767 United Airlines Flight 175 suddenly turned toward the World Trade Center, slicing into the south tower near the 60th floor.  The massive explosion caused debris to rain down on New York City streets.

Soon after, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  As for New York City, by 10:30 a.m., both World Trade Center towers had collapsed.  More than 3,000 people were killed during the attacks, including more than 400 firefighters, police officers and first responders.  The last hijacked plane, United Flight 93, which had been circling above New Jersey, crashed into a rural field in western Pennsylvania after a team of flight attendants and passengers raided the cockpit with fire extinguishers and boiling water.

Sadly, every American can remember where they were that fateful day; most observe planes carefully now as they pass above them, forever changed by that fateful day.

On September 11, police, firefighters, along with the VFW, met at the Benson Park Memorial to pay homage to the thousands who lost their lives during the attacks.  More than 50 spectators watched the gleaming tower monuments as Firefighter Mike Armand gracefully sang “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Although brief, the ceremony was powerful.  The VFW members fired 21 shots as locals watched Detective Allison Cummings play “Taps” on the trumpet.  And then the sun set, but the memories should never fade.

It has been 13 years since the attacks, and, in manytowns and cities across the country, a similar ceremony was taking place that day ensuring that those who lost their lives will never be forgotten.