The Parker Public Library held a commemoration of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 on Patriot’s Day, Saturday, Sept. 11. The event included posters and a video presentation in which students asked questions of survivors of the terrorist attacks of that day or their families.
Visitors to the commemoration included many first responders in uniform. There were also families who brought their children so they could learn about the event, as well as individuals who remembered 9-11 and wanted to recognize the day.
The year 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks, which resulted in almost 3,000 deaths. More than 90 nations from around the world were represented by those killed in the attacks. More people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, than were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
The posters featured photographs and descriptions of the events of that day. The video featured students who hadn’t even been born yet on Sept. 11, 2001, asking questions of those who were directly involved. They included a New York firefighter who lost every member of his engine company, the daughter of the pilot of one of the hijacked airliners that was flown into the World Trade Center, and a student at the school in Florida that President George W. Bush was visiting that morning.
What the individuals who had been directly involved with the events of 9-11 emphasized was the spirit of self-sacrifice and working together the events of that day produced. They noted how Americans of all colors, professions and political persuasions came together on that day and in the days afterward. They added we all needed to care about and for each other. They all stated we should take not each other for granted, as we never know when someone will leave us.
The exhibits and the video are from the 9-11 Memorial and Museum. This facility in New York is near the site of the World Trade Center, and is dedicated to preserving artifacts from the day as well as educating Americans on the significance of the events and their lasting impact.
Library Director Tracy McConnell gave credit to staff member Fenix Markel for the displays and the program.
Markel said she was in a Facebook group for librarians and she came across references as to what various libraries around the country were doing to commemorate the day. She contacted the 9-11 Memorial and Museum and they loaned the Parker library the items used in their commemoration.
On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 Islamic terrorists hijacked four airliners with the intent of crashing them into targets that were symbols of American culture and influence. The hijackers were part of the Al Qaeda terrorist group, and the operation was allegedly planned and financed by a fugitive from Saudi Arabia, Osama Bin Laden.
Two of the aircraft struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, leading to the towers collapsing. These towers had once been the tallest buildings in the world. Other structures hit by debris were damaged or collapsed as well. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., leading to severe damage to a section of that building. The passengers on the fourth plane, United Flight 93, attempted to take control of the plane back from the hijackers. The plane crashed near Shanksville, Pa. It is not known what its planned target was, but it was flying towards Washington.
The attacks in New York led to the single greatest single-day loss of life for first responders in the nation’s history, 441. The New York Fire Department had the greatest single-day loss of personnel they had ever experienced. By that evening, the NYFD was putting out calls to surrounding communities for mutual aid, something that had never happened before.
The events of that day led to major changes in American policy, and helped to shape the Administration of President George W. Bush. It led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. It led directly to America’s long-term military involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The World Trade Center has since been rebuilt as a single large and tall tower. The “footprint” where the Twin Towers once stood has been turned into a memorial to those who were killed on that day.
Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy Special Forces in 2011 in Pakistan in an operation planned by the CIA.