16 years on, 9/11 light still shines bright

Henrietta Strickland
September 13, 2017

When planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, Father Mychal Judge ran into the North Tower alongside the firemen he served.

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Reflecting on a tragedy that still feels immediate to them, victims' relatives thanked first responders and the military, anxious for people affected by Hurricane Irma as it continued its destructive path as a tropical storm and pleaded for a return to the sense of cohesiveness that followed the attacks.

In New York, the Pentagon, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and across the nation citizens paused to reflect on the tragic events of that day. And Danny Lewis, the computer wizard and former soldier reputed to be 9/11's first victim, stabbed to death when he confronted the hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston.

When America is united, "no force on Earth can break us apart", he said.

On September 24, 2002, Congress passed the Flight 93 National Memorial Act. The memorial is outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed with the loss of its 40 passengers and crew. Like Stevens, she tries to make it every year.

Aerial view of the Field of Honor with Memorial Plaza visible at the top of the image and the visitor center on the right
Aerial view of the Field of Honor with Memorial Plaza visible at the top of the image and the visitor center on the right

But far too numerous men and women of 9/11 - victims and first responders alike - have names known only to family and friends.

"When we come back again. close your eyes and listen to those 40 tones and voices".

After 15 years of anniversaries, the reading of names, moments of silence and tolling bells have become rituals, but each ceremony takes on personal touches.

On Sunday, friends and family members of the men and woman credited for fighting back that day gathered alongside National Park Service officials to break ground - and sound - on a metallic musical monument created to bring life to their voices once again.

We are inviting you, our readers to share your stories from September 11, 2001. "I hope you're watching down on me from heaven".

A National Park Foundation grant is funding the work, which is just one piece of more than $43 million in funds the foundation has raised from more than 110,000 donors in recent years, park foundation President Will Shafroth said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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