We all remember September 11, 2001

By Howard Lestrud
ECM Publishers, Inc.

There are certain dates in American History that we have observed and we will never forget where we were at that particular time. One of those times for many of us will be observed next Sunday, Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in the United States.

Other dates in American history that I clearly recall include:

• Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of John F. Kennedy

• April  4 , 1968, assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

• June 6, 1968, assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy

• July 20, 1969, first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong makes “giant step.”

• Jan. 28, 1986, Challenger explosion

Of those events, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 9/11 events maybe touched the most lives, mainly because of our advanced means of communication. Many of us watched the towers burn and topple in real time. I remember stopping by the grocery store in Coon Rapids and hearing the sound on a store television get louder and louder. “What’s happening?” I asked. Someone responded, “The twin towers are on fire.”

As I hurried to get to my ECM Publishers office in Coon Rapids, I remember the late Jim Painter, human resources director, pulling out his HR television and tuning in the historical event as it happened. The rest is history, as cliches will have it. The towers tumbled, we learned that the Pentagon was on fire and we also found out that an airplane was diverted by some brave passengers who took on the terrorists and forced a crash in Pennsylvania.

The Mental Health Association of  New York City has an excellent website offering a healing and remembrance program that aims to foster healing through information and support to members of the 9/11 community. Go to http://www.9-11healingandremembrance.org/ovc/Default.aspx

• 24-hour toll-free hotline

• Travel and lodging assistance to those who qualify

• Family Support Centers near commemorative events

• Information to help the 9-11 community heal

The 9-11 Healing and Remembrance program is a program of the Mental Health Association of New York City. The Mental Health Association of New York City has been there for the 9-11 community since September 11th, 2001, serving as a “voice” for the mental health needs of those affected by the disaster since the attacks.

Here’s some interesting statistics about the Mental Health Association’s role in helping victims of 9/11:

• 7,000 mental health providers trained in trauma-related assessment and intervention skills between 2002 and 2004.

• 100 personnel per day mobilized with other agencies at the pier and eight Family Assistance Centers from September 12, 2001 through December 2001.

• 4,639 monthly average calls to LifeNet between September and December 2001.

• 7,806 monthly average calls to LifeNet in 2002.

Many communities throughout the nation will be observing the 10th anniversary of 9/11. New York City of course will lead the way.  The White House says President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in will attend events in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington in September to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa.

Spokesman Jay Carney said that Obama will pay tribute to those who were lost. He also will honor those who responded on Sept. 11, 2001, and who have served in harm’s way in the decade since then. Vice President Joe Biden will attend events in Shanksville, Pa to memorialize Flight 93.

President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be joined by the leaders in charge during the 2001 attacks, including former President George W. Bush, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former New York Gov. George Pataki. Current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will also attend.

This year, two major 9-11 memorials are opening for the first time: The National 9/11 Memorial in New York City and the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA. You can also visit the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, VA.

Learn more about the National 9/11 Memorial by going to http://www.911memorial.org/  The 9/11 Memorial will be dedicated on Sept. 11, 2011 in a special ceremony for victims’ families. The Memorial opens to the public on Sept. 12, 2011 with the reservation of a visitor pass.

The Salvation Army and the 9/11 Healing and Remembrance Program will open a Family Support Center where the 9/11 community, including family members, survivors, displaced residents, responders, and 9/11 volunteers from all agencies can come together to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.

The nearly 3,000 names of the men, women, and children killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 are inscribed in bronze on parapets surrounding the twin Memorial pools.

The Flight 93 National Memorial protects the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked in the Sept. 11 attacks, in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania, about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Shanksville, and 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. The memorial will be made to honor the passengers of Flight 93, who stopped the terrorists from reaching their target. It will be dedicated next Sunday.

Find the Flight 93 National Memorial website at http://www.honorflight93.org/

A temporary memorial to the 40 victims was established soon after the crash, with a permanent memorial slated to be constructed and completed by 2011. The current design for the memorial is a modified version of the entry Crescent of Embrace by Paul and Milena Murdoch.

A two-hour 9/11 observance from 2-4 p.m. is planned at the Minnesota State Capitol on Sunday, Sept. 11.

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