On the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on America, we pause to remember the tragic events of that day, honor the memories of those who perished and recognize the first responders who risked their own lives to save others.
9/11 Day was created in 2002 as a nonprofit organization with the support of the 9/11 community and a mission to “rekindle the extraordinary spirit of togetherness and compassion that arose in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, and to inspire Americans and others to do good deeds that help to create a better and more peaceful world.” On the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the organization hopes to inspire people in the U.S. and around the world to perform 100 million good deeds “in remembrance and tribute.” To learn more or join the effort, visit 911day.org.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed on September 11, 2001. It was the single largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest loss of rescue personnel in a single event in American history. Source: 9/11 Museum & Memorial
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A timeline of the morning of September 11, 2001
Two of the hijacked planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, will eventually crash into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. The day was a significant one on the New York City political calendar, as polling stations opened at 6 a.m. for primary elections.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes bound for California. The planes departed from airports in Boston; Newark, NJ; and Washington, D.C. September 11 would become an infamous date in American and world history, and the events of that day would forever change the world. As the world commemorates the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the following timeline, courtesy of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, can help people fully understand how events unfolded on that late-summer morning two decades ago.
Two of the hijackers pass through security at Portland International Airport in Maine. The men will take a short flight to Boston Logan International Airport, where they will join three other hijackers and board American Airlines Flight 11.
United Airlines Flight 175 takes off from Boston with nine crew members, 51 passengers, and five hijackers on board. This flight also is loaded with 76,000 pounds of fuel.
American Airlines Flight 11 takes off from Boston with 11 crew members, 76 passengers and five hijackers on board. The plane, which will eventually crash into the North tower at the World Trade Center, is filled with more than 76,000 pounds of fuel.
American Airlines ground personnel are alerted by flight attendant Betty Ann Ong that Flight 11 is being hijacked. This call lasts roughly 25 minutes and Ong reports that the cockpit is unreachable. In the moments before Ong’s call, one of the hijackers stabbed Daniel M. Lewin, who was sitting in front of him in first class. Lewin is likely the first person killed in the 9/11 attacks.
The transponder on Flight 11 is turned off. This device is meant to allow air traffic controllers to identify and monitor the flight path of a plane.
Amidst reports of additional hijacked planes, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management at 7 World Trade Center is evacuated.
Flight 93 is flying so low to the ground that passenger Edward P. Felt is able to reach an emergency 911 operator in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
The E Ring of the Pentagon collapses.
An evacuation order is broadcast in the South Tower.
A second call for mobilization brings the total number of New York City Police Department officers responding to the scene to roughly 2,000. In addition, the FDNY issues a fifth alarm and deploys several hundred additional firefighters to the scene.
Police, paramedics and firefighters are sent to the North Tower.
Flight attendant Renée A. May calls her mother and tells her that hijackers have seized control of Flight 77. When May’s call is disconnected, she calls American Airlines.
The Port Authority Police Department orders both towers evacuated. One minute later Captain Anthony Whitaker expands the order to include all civilians in the entire World Trade Center complex.
Five hijackers crash Flight 175 into floors 77 through 85 of the South Tower. All onboard the flight are killed, as are an unknown number of people inside the building. Two of the three emergency stairwells are impassable and most elevator cables are severed, trapping many people above the impact zone and inside elevator cars.
While visiting an elementary school in Florida, U.S. President George W. Bush is notified that a small plane has hit the North Tower.
The Port Authority informs people inside the South Tower via a public address system that the building is secure and there is no need to evacuate.
Around this time, roughly 80 people have already begun gathering on the 106th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center for a financial technology conference. The conference is one of many events on the Trade Center schedule that day.
A flight attendant aboard Flight 175 reaches a United Airlines operator in San Francisco and reports the flight is being hijacked. By 9 a.m., various passengers on Flight 175 have called family members.
The Boston Air Traffic Control Center alerts the military that a hijacking is under way.
Five hijackers crash Flight 11 into floors 93 through 99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Hundreds, including everyone on board the flight, are killed instantly. The crash severs all three emergency stairwells, trapping hundreds of people above the 91st floor.
United Airlines Flight 93 takes off from Newark International Airport. The flight was due to take off at roughly the same time as the other hijacked planes, but was delayed due to routine traffic. Seven crew members, 33 passengers and four hijackers are on board. The flight is filled with 48,700 pounds of fuel.
One of the hijackers of Flight 11 unwittingly broadcasts a message to air traffic controllers alerting them to the attacks. The hijacker was attempting to communicate with passengers and crew within the cabin.
American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Washington Dulles International Airport. The flight has 49,900 pounds of fuel and is carrying six crew members, 53 passengers and five hijackers.
Hijackers crash Flight 77 into the Pentagon. All 53 passengers and six crew members perish, and 125 military and civilian personnel on the ground are killed in the fire caused by the crash.
Evacuations at the White House and the U.S. Capitol begin. Both the House of Representatives and Senate are in session at the time the evacuation begins.
President Bush is informed that a second plane has crashed into the World Trade Center.
The Federal Aviation Administration grounds all flights, ordering all civilian planes in United States airspace to land. Departures also are prohibited.
Continuity-of-government procedures are implemented for the first known time in American history.
The North Tower collapses after burning for 102 minutes. More than 1,600 people are killed as a result of the attack on the North Tower.
Four hijackers crash Flight 93 into a field near the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All 33 passengers and seven crew members on board perish. Passengers and crew had stormed the cockpit, and the plane ultimately crashes just 20 minutes’ flying time from Washington, D.C.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urges the evacuation of lower Manhattan.
The last flight still in the air above the continental United States lands. Within two and a half hours, U.S. airspace has been cleared of roughly 4,500 commercial and general aviation planes.
The South Tower collapses after burning for 56 minutes. The tower collapses in just 10 seconds.
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President George W. Bush’s address to the nation on September 11, 2001 On the evening of September 11, 2001, United States President George W. Bush addressed a nation that earlier that day witnessed the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history. That morning, hijackers took control of four airplanes, ultimately crashing two into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York City and another into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a field near the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers and crew attempted to regain control of the plane from the hijackers. All passengers and crew on board all four flights died on September 11, and thousands of others on the ground lost their lives that day as well. It was under those conditions that President Bush delivered the following speech to a shaken nation. Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.
A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America – with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could. Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.
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IN MEMORY OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.” This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.
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Headlines from around the globe the day after 9/11 The terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001 shook the world. People across the globe, including men, women and children from all walks of life, reacted to the attacks with sadness, horror, shock, and anger. Newspaper front pages throughout the United States and the world reflected those emotions on September 12.
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New York Post
ACT OF WAR World Trade Center destroyed; many dead
The Boston Globe
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Remembering the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center Among the more indelible images to emerge from the terrorist attacks on September 11 are the photographs and video footage of two airplanes flying into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. At 8:46 a.m. on the morning of September 11, 2001, five hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into floors 93 through 99 of the North Tower. Seventeen minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175 was crashed into floors 77 through 85 of the South Tower. Both buildings would ultimately
collapse, killing untold numbers of innocent people. The attack on 9/11 was the second terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in less than a decade. On February 26, 1993, approximately 1,200 pounds of explosives in a rental van parked in the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center was detonated by a small cell of terrorists linked to a local radical mosque and an Islamist terror network. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum notes that the explosion created a five-story, 150-feet-wide crater. The attack injured more
than 1,000 people and killed six, including Monica Rodriguez Smith, who was pregnant. The day of the attack was her last day of work before maternity leave. Two memorials, a fountain and a brass plaque bearing the names of the victims of the 1993 attack, were ultimately created to commemorate those who lost their lives. Each memorial was destroyed in the attacks on September 11, 2001, but a small piece of the fountain was recovered in the aftermath of 9/11. That piece was rededicated on February 26, 2005.
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Though many years have passed, those who perished have not been forgotten. We remember the courageous efforts of the emergency responders, the everyday heroes who risked their own safety to help others, and all those who lost their lives in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, the survivors and those who still grieve for loved ones as we observe a moment of silence in their honor on this somber anniversary.
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Purchased from Cross Lake, the Park Rapids Fire and Rescue Truck used on runs in the area also served at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001.
Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise.
Part Rapids rescue truck was at
Shannon Geisen Park Rapids Enterprise The Park Rapids Fire Department (PRFD) has a piece of history in its fleet. It’s fire and rescue truck has a sticker that proclaims “Proudly Served at Ground Zero.” “The rescue rig went on that call on Sept. 11 at Ground Zero,” said Assistant Fire Chief Ben Cumber. The PRFD bought it from the Cross Lake Fire Department about three years ago to replace an old rig. Then the seller told Cumber about the sticker on the door. Cross Lake purchased the truck from a Pennsylvania fire department that was on the 9/11 call, according to Cumber. “We’re pretty proud of it, actually,” he said. “It’s a great truck, too, a nice addition.” The rescue rig goes out on calls in the Park Rapids area when someone is trapped or pinned, Cumber explained. “It’s got our Jaws of Life in it. It has struts, so cars
won’t tip over if they’re on their side. A lot of wood blocks and harnesses, so that’s this truck’s primary function,” Ben Cumber he said. The rescue truck also has the capability of filling air bottles that firefighters use to breathe, “so if we have a big house fire, we’ll bring this up and we can refill some bottles,” Cumber said. On a recent call, he said he wondered, “Don’t you wish you knew what this truck has seen? It’s a super interesting truck.” Cumber was 16, attending Park Rapids High School, when 9/11 unfolded. He said listening to the coverage of the events as a teenager made an impact on him. “That’s what fueled my passion to become a firefighter,” he said. “I started with the fire department when I turned 21.” He remembers the repeated footage of planes striking the
Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise
This sticker on the Park Rapids Fire Department’s rescue truck is evidence the vehicle served at Ground Zero. Twin Towers. Cumber said he felt like “I need to be there.” The New York City Fire Department lost 343 among their ranks that day, he recalled, and more later. Cumber’s father served with the PRFD for 20 years. “By the time age 8, I knew
I was going to be a firefighter,” he said, recalling riding along when his dad was paged to a house fire. “He pulled in. I’m watching this house burn. Those guys were fighting hard. I was so mad I couldn’t get out and help. I told myself, ‘When I’m old
enough to do that, I’m doing it.’” And he did. Cumber has served with the fire department for the past 15 years, four years as assistant chief. Shannon Geisen can be reached at email@example.com
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Each year on Sept. 11, the Park Rapids Fire Department pays tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11. This photo was taken on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks where 3,000 people died, including more than 400 police officers and firefighters. Memorial tributes set up in front of local fire departments in Park Rapids, Nevis and Akeley included flags, helmets, turnout gear and other firefighter tools and equipment.
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History teachers help keep memory of 9/11 alive Park Rapids Enterprise Local high school history teachers shared their thoughts on teaching about 9/11 to a generation of students who were born after the event. Here are some of their answers.
Memories vivid, personal “Most of us adults feel that the events on Sept. 11, 2001 were, quite frankly, personal,” said Pete Phillips, the new social studies teacher at Nevis High School. “Most of us remember exactly where we were that day. Personally, I have vivid memories that bring up distinct emotions.” Today’s students, he noted, do not have those personal memories or emotions about the event. “Every student is aware of 9/11,” said Phillips. “But, it is like learning any other event in history for them. Kind of like Pearl Harbor. They are just too young. … Remember, this is history to them – before-they-were-born history.” Time has a way of sneaking up on us, Phillips said. “We forget that 20 years is a really, really long time ago when you are 13 years old. History can be stuffy and stale to a student. Without a personal connection, interest can be lost.” This, he said, is where the rest of us come in. “Tell kids where you were that day and what it meant to you. Tell them everything you remember. Most importantly, encourage them to ask you questions. Your story will ignite interest. If they ask something you do not know the answer to, pull
out your phones together and look it up.” Phillips said students will soon understand that Sept. 11, 2001 touched every American. “Some experiences were universal, some were unique,” he said. “In a nation as large and diverse as the United States, understanding that there is not one answer to complex questions is really important. Students just need a connection to feel invested.”
Keeping the story alive “It has been difficult the last few years talking about the events that happened 20 years ago,” said Sandy Aldrich, a social studies teacher at Park Rapids Area High School. “These students weren’t alive. They weren’t affected. They are shocked when we show them the footage of what happened that day. But, to them, it is just another day.” Sept. 11, 2001, like Dec. 7, 1941,
took the United States in a different direction, she said. “The war on terror changed many things in the lives of Americans that these students have always lived with,” said Aldrich. “I tell them that you used to be able to go and wait for people at their gate in the airport or watch them get on the plane. There wasn’t all this security. “You walked around the White House and the Capitol. I tell them that my first time in D.C. was a few months before 9/11 – June of that year. It was so easy to get close to the Capitol building. You didn’t have to walk blocks to get to the other side of the White House. I went the next year and so much changed, and so much more has changed in the years that have followed.” Aldrich said it’s important for students to recognize 9/11/01 as a day that went down in history. “It is one of those days that people who lived through it will ask, ‘Do you remember where you were when you heard?’ – just like Pearl Harbor and the assassination of JFK,” she said. “It is a day that stopped the world, and the world has not been the same since.” However, Aldrich added, today’s students won’t know that unless the story continues to be told. “It becomes less of a story and more of a date in history as the years pass,” she said. ‘History is the story of people, and we need to continue to tell the story of how this date affected the people and the United States.”
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Each year on Sept. 11, this display honoring the heroes at Ground Zero is placed outside the Eastern Hubbard County Fire Department in Akeley.
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Lorie Skarpness Park Rapids Enterprise Troy Hegg is the fire chief of the Eastern Hubbard County Fire District. He was living in Akeley and working as a subcontractor on a job for AT&T the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “I was on the fire department, but working out of town at the time,” he said. “I was on an installation job down by the Cities for the AT&T telephone company when it happened. “We heard it on the radio. At first, it was unclear what was going on. We pretty much all got told we had to leave the facility. Not long after that, we all lost our jobs because AT&T got rid of all the subcontractors.” He said he understands the security at AT&T was tight-
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Nevis firefighter reflects on 9/11 heroes Lorie Skarpness Park Rapids Enterprise Emily Whitaker and her boyfriend, Ryan Mathisrud, are both members of the Nevis Fire Department. Whitaker said she was a college student working at a bar in Dillon, Montana on Sept. 11, 2000. “When the fly-fishing guides came into the bar at the end of the evening from the river, I told them what happened,” she said. “They had no idea what had happened. “So many heroes lost their lives and so many others are still fighting the effects of 9/11. I think it’s important to remember the heroes who helped save lives that day and the heroes who continue to deal with health issues from 9/11 20 years later. We should take care of our firefighters because they took care of us.” The events of 9/11 also influenced people to join the military and fight terrorism. “I had a lot of friends who enlisted after 9/11,” said Whitaker. Mathisrud also enlisted after 9/11, although they didn’t know each other at the time. “I was a senior in high school and remember vividly being in study hall when another teacher walked in and told our teacher to turn on the TV because some major news just happened,” he said. “One of the twin towers was on fire and it was quite the sight to see. A few minutes later I watched as a second plane hit and I immediately realized that the United States was under attack. At that moment I knew that I had to do something and shortly after I was at the Minneapolis MEPS completing my physical and completing my paperwork to join the military.” He went on to serve in Iraq. Whitaker said watching the heroic rescues on 9/11 influenced her decision to become a firefighter. She has been a member of the Nevis Fire Department for almost three years. “Watching the brotherhood and the heroism of those guys going
Contributed / Emily Whitaker
Top: Emily Whitaker and her boyfriend Ryan Mathisrud both serve on the Nevis Fire Department. Mathisrud enlisted and went to Iraq following 9-11. Right: Nevis firefighter Emily Whitaker said she believes it is important to share the lessons of 9-11 with the younger generation. She is pictured here with her youngest daughter, Miette Phillips, 8. in, knowing they might not come back out,” she said. “Firefighters risk their lives in any fire, no matter what kind it is. “We’ve learned a lot from 9/11 and the firefighters who made it through. We’ve made changes to firefighting because of those guys. We have a lot more cancer prevention in our gear and in our education because of the studies done on firefighters after 9/11. That helps keep us safer as
firefighters now, 20 years later.” Whitaker’s daughters are 16 and 8. “They were not alive when 9/11 happened, but I tell them that we live in this world and bad things aren’t going to happen to us, and to wake up one day and see that made me realize how vulnerable we are and how important it is to take care of each other.” Lorie Skarpness can be reached at email@example.com
Saturday, September 11, 2021 11
Park Rapids Enterprise
MARCHELL ELECTRIC 12500 County 106, Park Rapids, MN 56470
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Although 20 years have passed, we remember the events of September 11, 2001 as if they happened yesterday. On this day of mourning and remembrance, we pause to pay tribute to the police, firefighters and first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice to save others and to all of the September 11th victims whose lives were cut short. Their memories live on in our hearts and our history, and we wish their loved ones comfort and peace at this difficult time and always.
We Will Always Remember.
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Park Rapids Enterprise
How communities can commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 It’s been 20 years since the terrorist group Al-Qaeda coordinated a series of four terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. The attacks claimed the lives of more than 2,900 individuals, making them the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history. Despite the tragic loss of life on 9/11, millions of people also drew inspiration from the efforts of heroic first responders who did anything they could to get people to safety. Many of those first responders perished while saving countless lives, and thousands more have suffered long-term health problems related to the attacks. This fall, communities can come together to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in recognition of both the lives lost and the sacrifices made by first responders and their families.
• Read the names of locals who lost their lives due to 9/11. The terrorists behind
9/11 hijacked four planes on the morning of that fateful day. Those planes departed from airports on the east coast of the United States, but communities across the country and even the globe were affected by the attacks and their aftermath. Communities can commemorate their fallen heroes by reading aloud the names of those who lost their lives in relation to 9/11. That can include community members who lost their lives during the attacks and first responders who perished during the immediate response to the attacks or due to long-term health complications resulting from their participation in the response.
• Honor local military personnel. The War in Afghani-
stan began shortly after September 11 as a joint effort on the part of the United States and its allies to drive the Taliban from power and deny the terrorists responsible for 9/11 a place to safely operate. The war is ongoing and is the
longest war in U.S. history. As of May 2021, the U.S. Defense Department reported more than 2,300 American troops had lost their lives and nearly 21,000 had been wounded during the war. Communities can acknowledge these losses when commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and make a concerted effort to thank military members and their families for their sacrifices in the 20 years since the war began.
• Honor current first responders. Many men and
women who continue to work as policemen, firemen, EMTs, nurses, and doctors participated in the response to 9/11 20 years ago. A walk of honor or another type of public recognition of their efforts can be incorporated into local events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Communities also can invite first responders who were not part of the 9/11 response to participate in these events, as their efforts to keep their com-
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munities safe are worthy of recognition as well. The terrorist attacks on 9/11 took place 20 years ago. Communities can commemorate
that anniversary by honoring the fallen heroes and the men and women who continue to work to make their towns and cities safe.
How to discuss 9/11 with children
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Twenty years ago, parents across the United States faced the delicate situation of discussing 9/11 with their children. Many adults watched their televisions with a sense of disbelief and horror on September 11, 2001, and parents were forced to explain the inexplicable events of that day to their youngsters. As the world prepares to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, many people who were children or adolescents on the morning of September 11 now have children of their own. Parents may need help explaining the significance of 9/11 to youngsters who were not alive when the attacks occurred. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum recognizes how difficult such conversations may be for parents and offers the following tips that can serve as broad guidelines to facilitate discussions about 9/11 and terrorism. • Listen. The museum notes that some children will want to discuss 9/11 and terrorism and some won’t. Discussions should not be forced if kids do not want to talk about 9/11 and parents can let kids know they’re ready to listen whenever kids want to talk. Kids who want to speak can be encouraged to
share their thoughts and ask questions. Parents are urged to actively listen to kids’ concerns, noting their body language and validating their emotions.
• Don’t avoid discussions.
Children who don’t want to discuss 9/11 and terrorism should not be forced to do so. But parents also should not avoid discussing 9/11 and terrorism in general solely because of the difficult subject matter. The museum urges parents to invite conversations if children express an interest in learning about terrorism and 9/11. Ask children, “What would you like to know?” or “How does that make you feel?”
• Remain calm and avoid appearing anxious. Adults
should be aware of their tone when discussing 9/11 and terrorism with children. Make a concerted effort to remain calm and not appear anxious. Answer questions honestly, but also in a way that is developmentally appropriate. Ask children if they have any concerns and provide appropriate, realistic reassurance. Let kids express their feelings and focus on how to cope with those feelings rather than suggesting their feelings are unfounded. If necessary, share what’s been done since
9/11 to keep the country safe and prevent future attacks.
• Learn about 9/11 so you can answer questions truthfully. The images of 9/11 are
indelible, but even adults who lived through the tragedy may not know the answers to questions kids may ask. In anticipation of such questions, parents can visit 911.memorial.org to learn more about 9/11 so they’re better prepared to answer kids’ questions. Resolve to find answers to questions together if need be. • Emphasize hope. Acts of terrorism are often so horrific that they can contribute to a deep sense of despair. But parents can explain to children that events like 9/11 also tend to bring out the best in people who are inspired to help and support family, friends and strangers alike. Emphasize the ways this happened on 9/11 and express to kids that their own acts of compassion may help to prevent future acts of violence and intolerance. The twentieth anniversary of 9/11 may inspire children to ask questions about the attacks and other acts of terrorism. Parents can employ various strategies to ensure such conversations are constructive and supportive.
Saturday, September 11, 2021 13
Park Rapids Enterprise
The 9/11 Memorial Among the more indelible images to emerge on September 11, 2001 was the sight of two planes crashing into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. Still photos and video footage of those planes flying into the Twin Towers were the first images of the attacks many Americans saw, and no one who watched events unfold that morning will ever forget those images. Though both the North and South Towers fell on that day, today the site where each tower once stood is a serene retreat in the bustling lower Manhattan neighborhood that was shaken to its core on the day of the attacks. The 9/11 Memorial was designed by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum notes that Arad and Walker’s proposal was chosen in a design competition that featured 5,201 submissions from 63 countries. The 9/11 Memorial is located on the western side of the formal World Trade Center where the Twin Towers once stood. Two enormous reflecting pools are part of the Memorial Plaza, which is where the North and South Towers once stood. The pools feature the two largest manmade waterfalls in North America. Around the edges of the pools, the names of people who were killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, the Pentagon, on Flight 93, and in the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center are etched in bronze. In recognition of the crash sites, 400 swamp white oak trees were selected from nurseries located in New York, Pennsylvania and near Washington, D.C. These trees are located throughout the Memorial Plaza, providing a peaceful respite separate from the surrounding city. The Memorial
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Plaza also includes one Callery pear tree. That tree was discovered at Ground Zero weeks after the attacks and it was severely damaged. The tree, now known as the Survivor Tree, was nursed back to health by members of the New York City Parks and Recreation Department and returned to the World Trade Center site in
2010, where it still stands as an enduring symbol of resilience and perseverance. The 9/11 Memorial is free and open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information about the 9/11 Memorial and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum can be found at www.911memorial.org.
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Park Rapids Enterprise
The Flight 93 National Memorial At 10:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001, the last of four planes that were hijacked earlier that morning crashed into a field near the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The people behind the 9/11 attacks later claimed the hijackers who commandeered the plane intended to crash it into the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., but passengers and crew stormed the cockpit, prompting the hijackers to crash the plane into the field, which is less than 20 minutes’ flying time to Washington, D.C. The efforts of passengers and crew onboard Flight 93 were nothing short of heroic. Though everyone aboard the flight perished in the crash, the attack on the U.S. Capitol was thwarted, saving untold number of lives. All passengers and crew on board Flight 93 were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal on September 11, 2014. The Flight 93 National Memorial is located in Stonycreek Township in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, roughly two miles north of Shanksville. The memorial was opened to family members of the victims on Sep-
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tember 10, 2015, and is now open to the public seven days a week, 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset, though visitors are urged to contact the Memorial in advance due to potential restrictions or closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2005, the Flight 93 Advisory Commission, which included family members of the victims as well as design and art professionals and community and national leaders, chose a design proposal submitted by Paul Murdoch Architects and
Nelson Byrd Woltz Architects from among 1,100 entries. The Flight 93 National Memorial includes the Tower of Voices, a 93-foottall musical instrument that holds 40 wind chimes, one to represent each of the 40 passengers and crew mem-
bers who perished in the crash. The tower is located on an oval concrete plaza that includes two curved concrete benches facing the opening of the tower. The tower is surrounded by concentric rings of white pines and deciduous plantings. A live webcam of the Tower of Voices can be viewed at https://www.flight93friends.org/plan-your-visit/webcams. Visitors to the Flight 93 National Memorial also can visit the Memorial Plaza. The Memorial Plaza features the Wall of Names, which is made up of 40 white polished marble stones inscribed with the names of the passengers and crew who were aboard Flight 93 on 9/11. The Memorial Plaza extends one-quarter mile alongside the area where Flight 93 crashed. Visitors can walk along the Memorial Plaza and view the impact site, including a grove of eastern hemlock trees that were damaged by the crash. A gap in the tree line is still visible and serves as a lasting “scar” of the crash. More information about the Flight 93 National Memorial is available at https://www. nps.gov/flni/planyourvisit/ index.htm.
The Pentagon Memorial At 9:37 a.m. on September 11, 2001, five hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. All 53 passengers and six crew members perished in the crash, and an additional 125 military and civilian personnel on the ground were killed in the fire caused by the crash. The hijacking of Flight 77 was part of the broader attack on 9/11, which remains the deadliest terrorist attack in world history. The Pentagon Memorial was created to honor the 184 people whose lives were lost at the Pentagon on 9/11, as well as their families and all those who sacrifice to protect and preserve the freedom of Americans. The design of the Pentagon Memorial was developed by architects Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman. Their design was chosen from 1,100 submissions. The Pentagon Memorial sits on
two acres of land just outside where Flight 77 struck the building. The memorial includes 184 benches
a victim’s name and arches over a shallow reflecting pool of water,
that are dedicated to each of the victims. The benches are organized in a timeline of their ages, stretching from the youngest victim, 3-year- Dana Falkenberg, to the oldest, 71-year-old John Yamnicky. Each bench is engraved with
lit from below. The benches for the passengers who were aboard the plane at the time of the crash are positioned so visitors will face the sky when reading the victim’s name. The benches dedicated to the victims who were inside the
building are positioned so their names and the Pentagon are in the same view. A curved wall known as the Age Wall also is a significant part of the memorial. The wall increases in height from 3 inches to 71 inches to represent the ages of the victims. Eighty-five paperbark maple trees were clustered throughout the memorial, and these trees feature foliage that changes to orange and red each fall. The trees will eventually grow to 30 feet, providing a canopy of shade over the memorial. The Pentagon Memorial is free and open seven days a week yearround, though visitors are urged to contact the Memorial in advance due to potential restrictions or closures related to the COVID19 pandemic. More information about the Memorial is available at https://washington.org/finddc-listings/national-911-pentagon-memorial.
Saturday, September 11, 2021 15
Park Rapids Enterprise
How to honor first responders This fall marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The attacks on September 11, 2001 remain the deadliest terror attacks in world history, claiming more than 2,900 lives and causing countless injuries and long-term health problems for tens of thousands of civilians and first responders. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 will no doubt evoke responses that span the emotional spectrum. Sadness may dominate such responses, but the anniversary of 9/11 also is a great time to reflect on the efforts of first responders. First responders played a vital role on 9/11, and many lost their lives and/or suffered long-term health consequences resulting from their selfless efforts to save innocent victims of the attacks. In the two decades since the 9/11 attacks, first responders have continued to make countless sacrifices to ensure their communities are safe and peaceful places to call home. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is a great time to recognize the efforts of first responders and honor them for all they do.
• Donate to local fire departments. According
to the U.S. Fire Administration, 54 percent of active firefighting personnel are volunteers. Many of those volunteer firefighters work for underfunded departments that are in need of financial support. Donating to such departments is a great way to show first responders how much their efforts are appreciated. Donations may be used to purchase new equipment, upgrade existing facilities, pro-
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vide vital training, and/ or improve response times, the latter of which can increase the likelihood that firefighters make it through calls safe and sound.
• Back legislation to support wounded first responders. Many first responders suffer significant mental and physical injuries while on the job. Various nonprofit organizations help wounded first responders who may need to make modifications to their homes or purchase costly equipment to get through their daily lives. But nonprofit organizations cannot go it alone in support of wounded first responders. Citizens can do their part by promoting and voting for local, state and national legislation that makes it easy for wounded first responders to get the help they need, when they need it. In addition to urging local politicians to
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support such legislation, private citizens can utilize social media to promote proposals and other efforts to support wounded first responders. Many 9/11 first responders are still fighting for government-backed support to treat injuries suffered 20 years ago, and a vocal citizenry can be a strong asset in their fight and the fight of countless others in need of help.
• Commit to supporting first responders year-round. The 20th
anniversary of 9/11 will call attention to the efforts of first responders on that day 20 years
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ago as well as the countless times since then that these brave men and women have served their communities. But first responders deserve vocal, year-round support. Make a concerted effort to thank policemen, firefighters, EMTs, nurses, and doctors in your community whenever you interact with them, and urge others to follow suit. First responders play a vital role in communities across the globe. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 can serve as a catalyst for communities to express their support for first responders.
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Stronger together. We didn’t get suited up at the sound of the alarm. Or battle not just a fire, but a case of the nerves. But through our Safe C o m m u n i t y F i r st R e s p o n d e r Program, we have invested over $14.3 million to help ensure first responders have exactly what they need to get the job done. When the energy you invest in life meets the energy we fuel it with, life-changing moments happen.
Park Rapids Enterprise