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We must never forget – this was the sentiment shared by proud Americans all over the country on Sept. 11. Thirteen years ago, terrorist high-jacked passenger jets and piloted them into the two towers of the World Trade Center. Another jet crash landed on the Pentagon in Washington. A fourth jet, presumably headed towards the nation’s capital, crashed in Pennsylvania after a group of brave passengers moved to overtake their hijackers.
Thousands of people lost their lives that morning, including 343 firefighters and 72 police officers. Additionally, the attacks caused more than $10 billion in damages, and had a significant negative impact on Wall Street and, ultimately, on global economic markets.
I think it is safe to say, any American alive and cognizant at the time of the attack will remember the event until the day they die. I was just a freshman in high school when it happened, but the images of those planes colliding with the towers and the smoldering wreckage at the Pentagon is still engrained in my memory.
To honor and remember the events of that fateful day, several communities in Kosciusko County presented remembrance ceremonies to honor the heroism and sacrifice of 9/11.
In Warsaw, emergency personnel and first responders from Warsaw, Claypool, Mentone, Pierceton, and other local towns, along with a representative from Senator Joe Donnelly’s office and many civilians, gathered to remember the 9/11 tragedy. Patriotic songs were sung. Several speakers shared touching stories of where they were when the towers were attacked. Local groups like the boy scouts, many of whom weren’t even born at the time of the attacks, did their part to contribute to the ceremony and pay respects.
In Syracuse, Wawasee citizens held a ceremony of their own. “The Mail-Journal” writer Martha Stoelting was in attendance. She reports:
“Syracuse honored the dead of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 with a brief but moving ceremony at Veterans Memorial at Crosson Mill Park on Patriot Day. With the country’s banner as well as flags of all branches of the service flying at half mast around the memorial, members of the Syracuse Wawasee American Legion Post 223 and the Syracuse Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1340 lined up with members of the Syracuse-Turkey Creek Fire Department. A small group of onlookers was present.”
“Legion Post 223 Commander Bruno Wolski spoke of the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers in New York City, the Pentagon and the sacrifice of lives of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 over Pennsylvania. More than 4,000 lives were lost in the attacks.”
“Wolski commented on the heroism of the first responders who saved lives while many of them lost their own. ‘Thank you for being there for us every day,’ he told the firemen. ‘We pray for the families who lost loved ones.'”
“After a 21 gun salute, taps was played by Loree Corbat. Her brother died of wounds received while serving in the military in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that followed Sept. 11. Several in the audience spontaneously shook the hands of the firemen and veterans present to thank them for their service.”