The date of 9/11 is one that I’ll never forget, but I have to admit that it slipped up on me that it was getting close. This pulpit was written on Tuesday, Sept. 11, a day that should never be forgotten.
While getting ready for the day, I watched the morning news, and they ran a piece on a new 9/11 memorial dedicated in Smithville, Mo., honoring the victims of 9/11 and the day.
The American Legion led the charge in creating the memorial and obtained a piece of rail from under the World Trade Center; www.mycourierlegion.com reported, “ The rusty steel commuter rail track in the Smithville monument was part of the system that delivered people to work at the World Trade Center. It was six stories below the surface when Tower 1 was struck by an airliner at 7:46 a.m.
“The iron ore for the rail traveled from Minnesota to Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania where it was smelted and formed into a steel rail; it was tempered with heat and water,” Knott said. “The rail traveled again to the World Trade Center and was still involved in travel and taking people to work every day. During the 14-week fire beneath the rubble, it was tempered a second time. This time it wasn’t tempered with water. It was tempered with the blood of those who perished that day.”
And the casualties don’t stop. Numbers of those dying from cancer and other diseases after they were exposed to toxin from the World Trade Center continues to climb.
Just to refresh our memories, Wikipedia reported, “During the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured. These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon. The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
“Most of those who perished were civilians except for 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers who died in the World Trade Center and on the ground in New York City, and another law enforcement officer who died when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, Penn., 55 military personnel who died at the Pentagon in Arlington County, Va., and the 19 terrorists who died on board the four aircraft. Overall, 2,605 U.S. citizens, including 2,135 civilians, died in the attacks, while an additional 372 non-U.S. citizens (excluding the 19 perpetrators) also perished, which represented about 12 percent of the total. More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks, including the United Kingdom (67 deaths), the Dominican Republic (47 deaths) and India (41 deaths).”
To this day, when I see the towers hit by our commercial planes, I know exactly where I was and what I was doing, what I said to my husband, and the cold dread that we knew it was terrorist attack and no accident.
I remember standing outside on Main Street trying to concentrate on putting out a newspaper but watching the jet trails of airliners doing 180 degree turns heading back to wherever to be grounded for days.
Today, I cry for those lost, and I feel honored that people still put up memorials – 17 years later. God bless those people for their diligence to not let this day be forgotten.
I hear several rumblings that some are beginning to challenge that the Holocaust ever happened; they don’t want to think that humankind could have stooped as low as the Nazis when they tried to exterminate an entire religion.
Memorials such as the ones in Smithville, and Shanksville, and at the site of the World Trade Center will keep the memory of those lost in a brutal terrorist attack alive, and keep those of us who remember that day understanding why we now have to take our shoes off in TSA lines, knowing why we can’t have more than 3 ounces of liquid in our carry-ons, and so much more.
Bent, tempered steel is now in many memorials across this country so we don’t forget what terrorism looks like – it’s ugly and has far-reaching tentacles that threaten us all.
God bless our first responders and military. Thank you for your service.
Linn County News publisher
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