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SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

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SEPTEMBER 2021

A day we’ll never forget By Jeremiah Bartz | Editor’s note

I

was half asleep. The “Howard Stern Show” was on the radio. Stern and his

co-host, Robin Quivers, were talking about an airplane flying into a building. Barely awake, at first I thought it was a bit, a parody.

years old. In my Catholic school elementary classroom, and the teacher wheeling in the tiny television on the cart so we could watch the news coverage.

It didn’t take long for me to realize our country had suffered a historic tragedy and our world would change forever.

Just a few days earlier, I had one of my greatest sports moments as a kid. My dad brought me to a Super Bowl party hosted by a doctor he worked with. It was the first time I got to see a football game on a big screen television, and my favorite team, the Chicago Bears, won Super Bowl XX.

That is how I woke up on Sept. 11, 2001. DENNIS ANDERSON Group Publisher, Wick Communications Alaska dennis.anderson@frontiersman.com TAWNI DAVIS General Manager, Regional Marketing Director Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman tawni.davis@frontiersman.com JEREMIAH BARTZ Managing Editor, Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman editor@frontiersman.com PETRA ALBECKER Regional Multimedia Marketing Consultant petra.albecker@frontiersman.com

I had to drive from Palmer to Fairbanks that day. As I made my way north on the Parks Highway I listened to the news coverage on the radio. I was on the other side of the country, but still remember feeling overwhelmed. My generation has not had many of those “where were you?” moments. Yes, there has been conflict and war. But nothing like my parents and their parents. I was too young to remember the day John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan. I was almost 4 years old. I do remember the day the Challenger space shuttle exploded in 1986. I was 8

Looking back on those days, the contrast between these events were polar opposites. A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to talk to Bob and Shirley Hemenway. The Hemenways lived in Wasilla for 15 years. Their son Ronald, a 1982 graduate of Wasilla High, died in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Hemenway, an electronics technician who worked in the Chief of Naval Operations, was one of 125 people who were killed inside of the Pentagon

when hijackers flew American Airlines flight 77 into the building on that historically tragic day. Hemenway was among the five victims whose remains were never recovered. Bob and Shirley were back in Wasilla 10 years ago for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They were in the Valley for a ceremony that dedicated the Battlefield Cross Memorial in Hemenway’s memory. The memorial stands near the entrance at Wasilla High, Hemenway’s alma mater. The events on Sept. 11, 2001, changed our world forever. We will all remember where we were that day. We will all remember the images of the Twin Towers coevering. And now, I will never forget my conversation with Bob and Shirley Hemenway, and the loss of their son Ronald. Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at editor@frontiersman.com.

Sept. 11, 2001, at the Frontiersman By Casey Ressler | For the Frontiersman

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, was supposed to be a celebratory day at the MatSu Valley Frontiersman. The hometown paper has just moved from a strip mall to a nice new building, and a day-long open house was planned to show the community the new home, where a printing press was going to be installed in the near future and change the way we delivered news.

I

was a young reporter on that staff, while my wife Tracy was the business manager. Normally, my Tuesdays were days off, spent with our 11-month-old daughter Madison. But that Tuesday we both would be headed to the office for the open house. “Casey, wake up. NOW!” my wife yelled with an eerie tone early that morning. I jumped out of bed, not knowing why she was yelling. Then, we sat in silence, watching the television, wondering what was happening. We struggled for words. The unthinkable was happening, live on TV. I got ready and got to the office. Clearly, it wasn’t going to be a celebratory day as planned. As a reporter, my mind was racing – we need to be covering this from a Valley perspective. Who can we talk to? What are the impacts locally? But as a person, my mind was also racing – my cousins lived in New York City and worked near the World Trade Center, are

they okay? It’s not often when reporters have to block out their personal lives because their professional lives demand it, but when it happens, it’s something big. And that’s what was happening that day. I remember an uncut anniversary cake sitting in the conference room, with maybe one or two guests showing up. It was somber. There was shock and disbelief which continued into the rest of the week. Now, looking back 20 years later, I know that while I wasn’t directly affected by that day’s events, what came from it had a profound impact on my career in ways you might not think. As much as I can remember everything from Sept. 11, 2001, I remember just as well a deadline morning in the newsroom four years later, when word came that a Palmer soldier, Kurtis Arcala, was killed in action on Sept. 11, 2005. I had covered Kurtis as a sports reporter, and I had to write the story on a few moments notice. It was not easy, but as I looked around the newsroom at my coworkers that morning, I knew I had to be the one to make the emotional calls and write the story. It didn’t seem fair, and it made me uneasy. Days later, I covered his memorial service at the Alaska State Fairgrounds, with more than 1,000 people in attendance. I will never forget the mood and feelings in the air that fall day. Since I was a young kid, I had always wanted to be a writer and being trusted to tell people’s stories in print was a job I loved. But it changed for me that day. As a newspaper writer, you don’t get the luxury of only telling the “good” stories. You have to tell all the stories that shape your community, and sometimes they are uncomfortable to write. I didn’t want to have to write another story about a young person’s life taken too soon, and a mourning community. I didn’t want to have to call a grieving mother and ask

her questions, when she needed a hug more than a reporter. I told those stories in the newspaper, and I was proud of the way we handled it as a staff. But I knew my time as a newspaper writer was done. A year later, after nearly 11 years at the Frontiersman, I wrote my last column as a staff member. I made a career change, and I’m now the marketing and communication manager at the Mat-Su Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In a sense, I’m still telling the positive stories about our communities, but now I do it to people looking to visit the Valley, not in a newspaper. It’s a move I have never regretted making, but little did I know that a deadline morning phone call would set it all in motion, exactly four years after Sept. 11, 2001. Casey Ressler (casey@alaskavisit.com) worked as a reporter, sports editor and features editor at the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman from February 1996 to November 2006.


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SEPTEMBER 2021

Local firefighters remember those lost on 9/11 By Tim Rockey | Frontiersman.com

Every year on the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, firefighters and emergency service personnel from around the Valley gather at one fire station to remember the fallen firefighters on that day.

H

ouston Fire Department Chief Christian Hartley had just begun serving in emergency services in the Mat-Su Borough prior to 9/11 and said that as a result of communication failures, incident command system structures were made more robust around the nation. “One of the biggest things they learned from 9/11 is communication failures. So when you have a period where you have a breakdown in your communications, that’s where Incident Command Systems really can step forward and fill those gaps and I think as an industry that’s one of the things that we definitely improved on, is we made ICS even stronger, more prevalent,” said Hartley. “It’s a stark reminder that it’s not just some intangible, it might be your last call. There were calls like 9/11 where that was their last call that was their legacy.” The Mat-Su Borough Department of Emergency Services will host a ceremony in remembrance of the firefighters lost in New York on 9/11 at station 6-1 in

Last year, 343 flags were placed for firefighters and 226 flags were also placed for those who died as a result of health issues from September 11, along with 70 flags for fallen police officers. Tim Rockey/Frontiersman

Wasilla on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Every year, dozens of firefighters, Alaska State Troopers and sworn police officers gather to remember the 343 firefighters that died on September 11. Last year, 343 flags were placed for firefighters and 226 flags were also placed for those who died as a result of health issues from September 11, along with 70 flags for fallen police officers. “For me it’s the 343. It’s the number we always use, but that number means

nothing anymore because every day we were losing more people that were affected by that event through the health issues,” said MSB DES Director Ken Barkley. “It’s very solemn every time you see another flag go up or another mark or another grave, so I dont think it’ll ever leave the fire service.” Though the ceremony was held at station 5-1 last year due to construction at station 6-1, the event returns for the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Moments of silence at the ceremony co-

incide with the exact moment that each of the World Trade Center towers fell in 2001. “For the fire service, the significance is how many firefighters died in the line of duty that day. So for us as a fire department we do it at this time of morning because this is when those firefighters died,” said Central Mat-Su Fire Chief Michael Keenan. “It’s to recognize their sacrifice, to reaffirm our commitment to the job and just make sure that everybody remembers, that you never forget.”

The Mat-Su Borough Department of Emergency Services will host a ceremony in remembrance of the firefighters lost in New York on 9/11 at station 6-1 in Wasilla on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Tim Rockey/ Frontiersman


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Wasilla High graduate among those lost in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 By Jeremiah Bartz | Frontiersman.com

Ronald Hemenway’s military career started later in life. He joined the United States Navy at age 30. But Hemenway found his calling and success as an electronics technician and earned a position in the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

O

n Sept. 11, 2001, Hemenway, a 1982 graduate of Wasilla High School, was one of 125 people who were killed inside of the Pentagon when hijackers flew American Airlines flight 77 into the building on that historically tragic day.

ing south with his family. “He always liked to learn,” Shirley said. Shirley said Ronald would spend time reading encyclopedias. “If he said it, don’t argue with him. He probably just read it,” Shirley said. After joining the Navy, Hemmenway attended electronics school and graduated after 11 months as a Distinguished Military Graduate. Hemenway chose an assignment with the U.S.S. LaSalle and was stationed at Gaeta, Italy. While stationed in Italy, he met and married Marinella in 1997 when he was 33. The couple had two children, Stefan and Desiree.

“I saw the Pentagon got hit. I didn’t know what happened,” Shirley said.

“HE CAME HOME ONE DAY AND SAID TO HIS MOTHER, I’M GOING INTO THE NAVY,” BOB SAID. “HE TOLD HIS MOTHER HE WAS GOING TO FIND A JOB WITH A FUTURE.”

Shirley didn’t make it work that day. Instead, the Hemenways frantically made phone calls, trying to find any news about their son.

“He really loved his kids. He was a hands-on dad,” Bob said.

Bob Hemenway, Ronald’s father, was home that day. Hemenway’s mother, Shirley, stopped at a friend’s house on her way to work. That’s when she first learned about the terrorist attack on both the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon.

Hemenway was also one of five victims who were never found. “Everyone else was getting remains. We never got any remains,” Bob said. “The general said it was 3,000 degrees where Ron was. They never even found his dog tags.” Bob, who served in the United States Air Force, said his son didn’t show much interest in the military earlier in his life. And then Hemenway had news for his parents. “He came home one day and said to his mother, I’m going into the Navy,” Bob said. “He told his mother he was going to find a job with a future.” And that was a surprise. “Out of the blue,” Shirley said. “But most things about Ronald were out of the blue.” Bob said Ronald traveled his own path in life. “He marched to the beat of his own drummer,” Bob said. Hemenway was born in Cordova in 1964. The Hemingway family moved to Tok a year later, spent seven years in Fairbanks and lived in Wasilla for another 15 years before relocating to the Lower 48. Bob and Shirley now live in Kansas. Hemenway attended UAF and studied chemistry and photography before mov-

Bob and Shirley were back in Wasilla 10 years ago for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They were in the Valley for a ceremony that dedicated the Battlefield Cross Memorial in Hemenway’s memory. The memorial stands near the entrance at Wasilla High, Hemenway’s alma mater. “We’re really happy about that,” Hemenway said of the memorial. Bob Hemenway said they had hoped to return this year for the 20th anniversary, but are unable due to health reasons. Kamilla Diamond grew up with Ronald Hemenway and his siblings, and were neighbors. Diamond was with the Hemenway family during the dedication on the 10-year anniversary in 2011. “Ever since they put the Battlefield Cross at Wasilla High School I go there and put flowers there on 9-11, and Memorial Day. I try to do it on his birthday,” Diamond said. “Every time I end up leaving ugly crying.” The Hemenways have a tribute to their son, with pictures on a wall in there house. Bob said their oldest son bought a 25-foot flag poll for their yard. “We’re incredibly proud of him,” Bob said. Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at editor@frontiersman.com.


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SEPTEMBER 2021

Local leaders reflect on the 20th anniversary of September 11 By Tim Rockey | Frontiersman.com

The effects of the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, have been felt across the United States for the last two decades. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy was working as a superintendent in Kotzebue on his way to school when he was informed of the attacks in New York.

“I

turned on the news, could see the aftermath of the planes hitting the World Trade Centers. They had not yet collapsed. I called some friends who are from New York. I had a brother who was living in New York, downtown New York at that time, they were all trying to figure out what was going on and then the trade centers collapsed. Here in Alaska across the United States, everything was grounded. It was hunting season and you had hunters going out that were seeing fighter jets on their wings trying to get them to land, everything was grounded

Never

for several days and in many respects things changed forever at that point,” said Dunleavy. “Everything has been changed dramatically because of this. Is it for the better, I don’t think it’s always for the better when your freedoms are crimped, but the safety issues at the time I think had folks really wanting to make sure that there was not going to be another situation where a plane could be hijacked in this country and so we’re still dealing with that today. We see what’s

“FOR AMERICA IT REALLY UNIFIED US AND IT’S UNFORTUNATE THAT FOR A PERIOD OF TIME THERE EVERYBODY BECAME NONPARTISAN, REGARDLESS OF THEIR POLITICAL AFFILIATION, THAT WE DID COME TOGETHER AND WE MOURNED AS A NATION WHAT TOOK PLACE.”

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going on in Afghanistan right now, were wondering if that’s going to spill over into our daily lives, but like anything else we try and learn from the past and we try and just keep marching forward and doing a better job.” In Wasilla, current Mat-Su Borough School Board member Dwight Probasco was preparing to go to Wasilla High School, where he was the principal. Probasco heard the news and left for school early. “I knew it was going to be a big event at school and it was. I know every television that teachers could get they had it on during the day and our counselors, I mean it was very traumatic. Our counselors were very busy. There were a lot of children that didn’t come to school that day and a lot of children that went home

over the course of the day,” said Probasco. “For America it really unified us and it’s unfortunate that for a period of time there everybody became nonpartisan, regardless of their political affiliation, that we did come together and we mourned as a nation what took place.” Working in local government in Minnesota at the time, Palmer City Manager John Moosey mistakenly turned off the news to begin a city council meeting that was immediately postponed. “We didn’t know what was happening and then the second one happened and it was like, we’re under attack and then you know the police chief took off, he immediately took off, fire chief took off to make sure what’s going on here so yeah, it was a surreal moment,” said Moosey.


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SEPTEMBER 2021

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Q&A with American Legion member Matt Larson reflects on brave brother’s death in Twin Tower attack Q: What do you remember most about him?

By Jacob Mann | Frontiersman.com

M

att Larson recently participated in a question and answer interview to share reflections over the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack 20 years after his brother John “Adam” Larson died in the World Trade Center. Q: So, you lost your brother during 9/11? “Yeah, he was in tower two of the World Trade Center.” Q: What was he doing there? “He was working for AON Corporation, they’re insurance underwriters.” Q: What was Adam like? “Well, we were born in Montana. They used to pick on him quite a bit about being a Western boy in a New York City job, but he always took it in stride. He and his family used to come back out west at least once a year to kinda reunite with his ties. I think he found a little niche for himself in his job... They all liked him out there. I never met any of his friends that I didn’t like and that didn’t talk highly of him. I think it was more of an advantage for him to have more of that slowed down Western mentality. I think it worked well with his clients.”

“He was a loving father and husband. He doted over his kids... He was a pretty fun-loving guy. His wife and family did a lot of hiking and camping together... He was very active. Let’s just say, he didn’t let a lot of moss grow under his feet, just sport-minded and outdoor-minded... I remember the very last words I said to him. He called me up and said, ‘you know, I think I’m losing my hair.’ By this point, I already was too. I said, ‘naw, don’t worry about it. You’re gonna die with a full head of hair.’ Unfortunately, the next day he was killed with a full head of hair.” “After the first tower had been hit, he was up around the 101st floor or the 110th... He made it down to the 78th floor where one of his office staff ladies was there when the door opened. She was just in a panic, so Adam jumped out of the elevator... He said, ‘I’ll just take the next one.’ Well, unfortunately, the 78th floor is where the plane hit. There never was a next elevator... I consider him a bit of a hero, at least an attempted hero. That was his type of mentality. That’s the way Adam was. He was one of those guys who wouldn’t allow anybody to be in distress without making an effort to do what he could for them... He just wanted to make sure she was gonna get down...

The point was, he was trying. This was relayed by another friend of his... That’s where we got the story from.” Q: 20 years later, what are some of your thoughts and reflections about 9/11? “I personally like to try to do something every 9/11 in remembrance, not just for him but for all the first responders and military and everybody that came to assist after the fact. My brother and sister and I, we all do something in our own way on that day. Me personally, it’s mostly something to do with the American Legion because I stick with them and they’ve always been supportive... One thing about it is that it’s not very difficult to know somebody that knows somebody that was tragically affected by the World Trade Center. There were that many people killed that it’s just not that hard to find somebody that has a story... I retired from the Coastguard just before that happened in ‘98... I think it was more frustration and I wish I could have been there to do more either as a first responder or back in the service, and I still think about that. I think it was a terrible thing that had happened. It’s also a terrible thing that it’s been dragging out for this many years, this so-called ‘war on terror.’ We’ve committed so many of our troops and lost so many lives in that amount of time. It is a concerning thing to me as an American and as a

Legionnaire. I’d like to see some end to it, but I don’t see that happening in the near future. If you’re asking if I’m over it, I never will be, nobody ever will be. You come to grips with it. It is what it is. There’s nothing we can do to bring ‘em back, any of ‘em.” Q: What can we as Americans do to honor the lives lost during 9/11? “As long as we as Americans continue to remember and honor those that are serving, that put themselves in harm’s way... When it comes to this, we gotta stand together as a united front, and not just remember the tragic days like Pearl Harbor and 9/11 on those days. It’s important for us to remember that on a day-to-day basis, there are sons and daughters, parents, brothers and sisters, that are out there. Just be a good family, as the United States. Just be a good family.” Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman

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MANN ON THE STREET

“I was just waking up for work. It was just disbelief at what I just saw… It changed everything.” Jana Engle

“We were basically getting ready to fly the next day to a class reunion in Missouri... We ended up driving... It was devastating.” Pete and Marilyn Powell

SEPTEMBER 2021

BY JACOB MANN | FRONTIERSMAN.COM

“I was drinking coffee in my armchair… I remember my husband told me somebody crashed planes into the Twin Towers. I saved the newspaper from that day... Prior to 9/11, your family members or whoever could walk you all the way to the gate to see you off.” Judy Montalbano

“I was just getting off work as a security guard down in Valdez... Somebody called me and said get your stuff and get back to work. I turned on my TV just in time for the second plane to hit the tower… We just never finished seeing all the loss.” Ron Travis

Where were you during the 9/11 terror attack, and what are your thoughts 20 years later?

“I was in Portland, Oregon. My girlfriend called and left a message… I went back to sleep. Little did I know it was a national catastrophe... Twenty years ago, there was a fever, ‘we were attacked.’ We all came together very quickly over this thing. Now we’re seeing it with more clarity with less obvious answers and being divided again.” Ted Kincaid

“I was waking up. I was in bed. My cousin called and said, ‘turn on the TV.’ Since I was in the military, I called my shop. I said,’ so, what now? What are we doing?’ It changed everything. It changed the world. It changed our security protocols… What needed to be in place was created…We all need to remember that day. It needs to be taught. But, is it gonna be? I don’t know.” Scott Montagne

“After a long night of partying, my friend calls me up and says we’re under attack by planes. I was like are you talking about... I turned the TV on and it was total chaos. There wasn’t anything to say. It was a moment of like what is going on? It was a huge change. It affected everyone and it’s still affecting people today. You used to be able to go on a flight and you can’t bring anything on a plane... With all the stuff going on in Afghanistan around the 20th anniversary, it’s odd.” Travis Rehard

“I was on my way to work… After seeing the buildings fall over and over that’s all they played for the following week or so... I personally believe it was planned... and COVID is the next element until the powersat-be get what they want.” Jordan River


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SEPTEMBER 2021

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Local veteran organizations reflect on 9/11 By Jacob Mann | Frontiersman.com

The Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack shook America to its core, leaving many with unforgettable memories of where they were at the time. Twenty years later, 9/11 means different things to different people, but there are commonalities in their musings and recollections.

remembrance event in conjunction with 9/11 with a small ceremony with special guest speakers and a community barbeque. He said there’s a time during the event where the microphone is passed around so attendees can share where they were and what they were doing when they found about the terror attack. “We just started it last year and had a huge turnout,” Maupin said. “There’s so many people 30 and under that don’t even remember it. So, it’s more of a remembrance thing and educating the kids about what it was. Of course, we have so many veterans here that served during that conflict. So it’s to remember them as well.”

A

ccording to AMVETS Post Commander Scott Montagne, it’s important for everyone to remember that fateful day in 2001 and to keep talking about it to ensure the next generation doesn’t forget.

Local chapters of veteran organizations such as the American Legion and AMVETS support members across generations and branches of the military to provide a unifying sense of comradery and support inside their establishments and through their various programs.

“It saddens me to know there were so many people in those buildings that lost their lives for nothing, just dead,” Montagne said. AMVETS member, Jeremy Gongora said that he was only 8 years old at the time. He said that he probably didn’t fully comprehend the gravity of the situation back then. Reflecting on the historical event 20 years later, he speculated that some good things came from the tragedy, namely the sense of national unity that rose up from the ashes for a period

Gongora said that he joined AMVETS last February and he’s glad that he did.

According to AMVETS Post Commander Scott Montagne, it’s important for everyone to remember that fateful day in 2001 and to keep talking about it to ensure the next generation doesn’t forget. Jacob Mann/Frontiersman

of time.

together,” Gongora said.

“It was a devastating experience, but definitely at the time brought America

American Legion Post 15 finance officer Don Maupin said they hold an annual

SUSITNA POST 9365

“I like it. It’s more of a family once you get to know people,” Gongora said. “If you need someone, there’s somebody there to help... It’s nice for us to have a place to go.” Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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Jr. Vice Commander Roy Outcelt Aux President Kim Hackett

Aux Sr. Vice President Jonnie Knutson Aux Jr. Vice President Lori Outcelt


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Honoring the Heroes of Flight 93 Jody Greene’s father, Donald Greene, was one of 40 passengers and crew on Flight 93 who gave their lives fighting back against four terrorists who likely planned to crash the airliner into the U.S. Capitol.

T

hey saved many lives that day while sacrificing their own when the plane crashed in Shanksville, Penn. If you want to honor those valiant passengers, Jody Greene knows how.

A new purpose Greene was 6 years old when her father died on Sept. 11. Every year since then her family has returned to the crash site in Shanksville, now site of the Flight 93 National Memorial. “As I have grown, so has my relationship with this place,” Greene wrote in the USA Today. “In recent years, I’ve found the experience of watching children visit the memorial to be particularly moving. As I overhear the questions asked to parents and the National Park Service rangers who staff the site, I’m reminded of the Flight 93 National Memorial and the Visitor Center’s purpose.” For this generation, she continued, the site is as much about education as it is about remembrance, offering each young visitor the opportunity to learn about the events of that day and the heroes of Flight 93. Millions of children have no reference point to Sept. 11. Yet, they must know what happened at this sacred site. Greene is on a march to make sure the heroes of Flight 93 never be lost to history.

The Flight 93 Heroes Award The Flight 93 Heroes Award is inspired by brave acts of the passengers and crew members of Flight 93. It is particularly relevant as the 20-year anniversary approaches. “This anniversary offers a uniquely teachable moment to share the story of those who fought back against terrorists on Flight 93 and to continue their legacy by honoring and celebrating those who today embody that same spirit,” Greene wrote. To nominate someone for the award, visit Flight93Friends.org.

SEPTEMBER 2021


SEPTEMBER 2021

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Imperial War Museum Marks 20 years The Imperial War Museum in London is planning to mark the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people. According to the museum’s website, the goal is to mark the anniversary of the attacks and explore their global legacy. Understanding the impact “9/11 Twenty Years On” will be the first time the museum has taken a close look at 9/11. Louise Skidmore, head of contemporary conflict, told the Guardian: “And the reason we are choosing to mark the 9/11 anniversary is because it is an event that really did have a global impact. Beyond just the geopolitical, it went into numerous aspects of our social, economic and cultural lives.”

The collection examines NATO’s collective defense Article 5 — an attack on one is an attack on all — as well as the invasion of Afghanistan, the global war on terror and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. “It radically changed both foreign and defense policies across the globe,” said Skidmore.“But, also, so much on the home front, like anti-terror legislation, increases in surveillance, changes in attitudes towards civil liberties, air travel.”

On Display Objects on display will include girders from the twin towers, artwork, remains of a car damaged in a suicide car bomb attack in central Baghdad and a union flag rescued from Ground Zero.

With in-person and online events, the museum will present personal accounts from survivors, including those involved in the wars that followed the attacks. “We are really hoping to be able to make it as global as possible, and participatory through the idea of where were you, and how has it shaped your life,” Skidmore said. The museum already has launched “9/11: A Global Story,” an online project gathering personal stories of how 9/11 impacted people then and now. The website asks: “Many of you will remember exactly where you were when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. But what happened afterwards and how is it relevant to us today?”Share your story at www.iwm.org.uk/ form/911-a-global-story.


9-11 2 0T H AN N IV ERSARY | C O M M EM O R AT IV E IS S U E

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SEPTEMBER 2021

How the U.S. has Changed The fact that the U.S. changed forever on Sept. 11, 2001 is undeniable. Anyone who lived through the day’s events and the aftermath sensed the changes. Twenty years later, much of life has returned to its routines, but the marks left by the terrorist attacks remain.

• About 37 million war refugees and other people have been displaced.

Wars

Flying

The United States has been at war constantly since Sept. 11, 2001. Within a month of the attacks, U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan in pursuit of al-Qaeda, which claimed responsibility for the attacks. In 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq as part of the War on Terror. The war in Afghanistan, which drew to a close in mid-2021 as the U.S. finally pulled all of its troops out of the country, is the longest-running war in the country’s history.

The effects on air travel were intense immediately following Sept. 11. Commercial flights in the U.S. were grounded for days, and when they did resume, security was tight. Travelers have seen long lines, full body scans and other screening measures, and restrictions on items they can carry onto airplanes. The Transportation Security Administration grew to a massive size as it took over security duties that had previously been performed by private companies. The changes have made air travel more burdensome for travelers and at times infringed on their privacy.

Brown University’s Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs lists the following effects of the post-9/11 wars. • More than 801,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many due to the reverberating effects of war. • More than 335,000 civilians have been killed as a

result of the fighting.

• The costs to the U.S. for these wars has been over $6.4 trillion.

Surveillance Americans also have seen their privacy encroached upon by surveillance measures related to the War on Terror. According to PBS, audits have shown the

National Security Agency annually had read “56,000 emails and other communications by Americans with no connection to terrorism, and in doing so, had violated privacy laws thousands of times per year.” The scope of the problem came into focus in 2013, when CIA contractor Edward Snowden released classified documents regarding surveillance NSA programs.

Immigration and Anti-Immigrant Violence Sept. 11, 2001 had major impacts on immigration in the U.S. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security saw immigration agencies shuffled and strengthened. The number of annual deportations of immigrants doubled between 2001 and 2013, when it peaked, and while the numbers have declined, they remain much higher today than they were 20 years ago. The aftermath of 9/11 also brought an increase in anti-immigrant violence, especially against Muslims. Although the 9/11 attacks were carried out by Muslim extremists, innocent Muslims in the U.S. found themselves the target of attacks. In 2000, the FBI reported that it had handled 12 cases of anti-Muslim assault. In 2001, that number was 93. Another spike — 127 cases — occurred in 2016.


9-11 2 0T H AN N IV ERSARY | C O M M EM O R AT IV E IS S U E

SEPTEMBER 2021

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Recovery Continues Long after the debris from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks was cleared, families of those who lived and worked in Downtown Manhattan are still grappling with the very real long-term consequences of that day. Two major federal programs provide help to the victims, their families and others affected by the disasters that took place that day. September 11th Victim Compensation Fund The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, according to its website, provides compensation to “individuals (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who were present at the World Trade Center or the surrounding New York City Exposure Zone; the Pentagon crash site; and the Shanksville, Penn., crash site, at some point between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002, and who have since been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness.” The fund extends to those who helped clean up the disaster site in roles such as construction, clean-up, and

debris removal, as well as people who lived, worked, or went to school in the affected areas. In 2019, President Donald Trump signed a bill that permanently extended and funded the program. The Congressional Budget Office said the extension would provide more than $10 billion over a decade. It extended the deadline to file a claim to October 1, 2090. To learn more, visit www.vcf.gov.

World Trade Center Health Fund The World Trade Center Health Program is a limited federal health program administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program pays for certain health care services to first responders who helped with rescue, recovery, debris cleanup and related support services between Sept. 11, 2001 and July 31, 2002, as well as people who worked,

lived or attended school or daycare in the World Trade Center area. The program, which has no co-pays, deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses for covered treatments is authorized to operate through 2090. Services are offered at clinics in the New York metropolitan area, and at a nationwide network of health care providers. According to the CDC, people who were exposed to the conditions in the area on and after 9/11 might have a related health condition and not know it. Common issues include chronic cough, heartburn and anxiety. Health care providers who participate in the program are experts at diagnosing and treating related health conditions. Treatment data gained through the program is used to help identify related conditions and help health researchers understand the full effects of 9/11 on public health. To learn more, visit www.cdc.gov/wtc.


9-11 2 0T H AN N IV ERSARY | C O M M EM O R AT IV E IS S U E

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SEPTEMBER 2021

Learning about 9/11 One great way to mark the anniversary is to educate yourself about what happened on September 11, 2001. Even if you lived through that day, you can likely learn something new by doing some research.

H

ere are some resources to get you started.

• Read biographies of the victims of 9/11 at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial’s website at www.pentagonmemorial.org/explore/biographies.

• Read tributes written by others, and write your own tribute, at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s Digital Remembrance Wall at www.neverforget. org/remember. • Take a digital tour of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial at www.defense.gov/Experience/Pentagon-Memorial.

For Teachers The 9/11 Memorial & Museum offers resources to help teachers bring the stories of 9/11 heroes into their classrooms. Offerings include interactive lesson plans for students

in grades 3 to 12 that address the attacks, their ongoing repercussions and the history of the World Trade Center. For example, one lesson plan aimed at grades three through five is titled “Local Heroes” and asks: “What is a hero and how can people show gratitude to those who act heroically in their own communities?” Another aimed at sixth- through eighth-graders is titled “American Anxiety After 9/11” and discusses the question, “How did 9/11 affect Americans’ sense of safety?” Search for lesson plans by grade level and theme on the organization’s website at https://www.911memorial. org/learn/students-and-teachers/lesson-plans.

Books for Children Encourage your child to look for a book about 9/11 at the library or bookstore. Here are a few to consider:

• Ten True Tales: Heroes of 9/11, by Allan Zullo. This paperback Scholastic book tells 10 true stories of real-life heroes during the attacks on 9/11, at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Penn. Recommended for grades 7-9. • What Were the Twin Towers? by Jim O’Connor and Who HQ. This paperback book tells the history of the Twin Towers, how their construction changed the New York skyline, and why they were destroyed. Recommended for ages 8-12. • Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of John J. Harvey, by Maira Kalman. This book for younger children tells the story of the John J. Harvey, a firefighting boat that was destined for the scrap pile before it helped put out the fires at Ground Zero when the fire hydrants in the area were inoperable. Recommended for ages 4-8.


9-11 2 0T H AN N IV ERSARY | C O M M EM O R AT IV E IS S U E

SEPTEMBER 2021

Welles Crowther: A 9/11 Hero Welles Crowther was a 24-year-old equities trader at Sandler O’Neil and Partners on the 104th floor when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

H

e called his mother and left a voicemail: “Mom, this is Welles. I want you to know that I’m OK.”

Helping many to safety

‘strong, authoritative voice,’ Crowther directed survivors to the stairway and encouraged them to help others while he carried an injured woman on his back. After bringing her 15 floors down to safety, he made his way back up to help others.”

After that call, however, Crowther’s instinct as a former volunteer firefighter as a teen kicked in. He made his way down to the 78th floor sky lobby and became a hero to strangers known only as “the man in the red bandana.”

‘He’s definitely my guardian angel’

According to Mic: “Amid the smoke, chaos and debris, Crowther helped injured and disoriented office workers to safety, risking his own life in the process. Though they couldn’t see much through the haze, those he saved recalled a tall figure wearing a red bandana to shield his lungs and mouth.”

Crowther was credited with saving at least a dozen people that day.

“He had come down to the 78th-floor sky lobby, an alcove in the building with express elevators meant to speed up trips to the ground floor. In what’s been described as a

“Everyone who can stand, stand now,” Crowther told survivors while directing them to the stairway exit. “If you can help others, do so.”

Crowther’s body was later recovered alongside firefighters in a stairwell heading back up the tower with the “jaws of life” rescue tool, according to Mic. “He’s definitely my guardian angel — no ifs, ands or buts — ­ because without him, we would be sitting there, waiting [until] the building came down,” survivor Ling Young told CNN.

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9-11 2 0T H AN N IV ERSARY | C O M M EM O R AT IV E IS S U E

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SEPTEMBER 2021

Marking 20 Years As the grim 20-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks approaches, the memorials set up at each site prepare to mark the significance of the day.

T

he 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s activities are designed to “share the history and lessons learned with a new generation, teach them about the ongoing repercussions of the 9/11 attacks, and inspire the world with memories of our fortitude, strength and resilience,” according to its website. “Despite our shared grief in the aftermath of 9/11, hope, resilience, and unity lifted us up as a nation. Twenty years later, these lessons are more important than ever.” Here’s a roundup of some of the planned events.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum Annual commemoration. The memorial will continue its annual practice of reading the names of the victims

aloud and observing six moments of silence marking major events of the day. Tribute in Light. This year, the memorial will expand its annual Tribute in Light, during which the sky above the city is illuminated from dusk on Sept. 11 until dawn on Sept. 12. This year’s event will be citywide, when buildings across the city will be lit up in blue. The Never Forget Fund. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum also has launched the Never Forget Fund in advance for the anniversary. The initiative is intended to support the organization’s educational programs “and preserve its significance as a sacred place of remembrance, reflection and education.” Anniversary in the Schools Webinar. A free webinar

for schools will include a film highlighting first-person accounts of the attacks, and allow viewers to interact with museum staff via live chat. It will be available ondemand beginning Sept. 10.

Flight 93 National Memorial The Memorial will hold its annual September 11 observance at Memorial Plaza. The names of the passengers and crew members will be read, the Bells of Remembrance will be rung, and a wreath will be placed at the Wall of Names. The ceremonial gate to the crash site will be opened and family members will walk out to the crash site.

Profile for Wick Communications

September 11, 2001 - 20 Years Later  

September 11, 2001 - 20 Years Later  

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