It was a day of horror and tragedy as the world watch hijacked planes American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines flight 175 crash into the north and the south towers of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
Over 2,000 people were killed within a few hours as the scene unfolded and millions of people would witness first hand the crash into the second tower over live television news coverage. Further reports would confirm more terror of hijacked planes (American Airlines Flight 77) crashing into the Pentagon as well as an area outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania (United Airlines flight 93 aimed toward Washington D.C).
The plane hijacks of September 11, 2001, were a series of orchestrated terrorist attacks by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, with targets being the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the White House.
The tragedy of 9/11 shocked millions around the world as thousands of American citizens were thrown into deadly circumstances, and it has been documented as the single deadliest incident for law enforcement and firefighters in the history of the U.S.
Of those who were killed during the initial attacks, as well as the collapse of the twin towers that followed, 343 victims were New York City firefighters, 23 were New York City police officers and 37 were officers at the Port Authority. Since then, 9/11 has been deemed as a day to remember innocent lives lost through the acts of terrorism, and those whose lives were lost performing their duties to serve and to protect.
A total of 2,996 people died in 9/11, (including the 19 hijackers) and injuries were reported of over 6,000 people.
Each year, the International Peace Garden hosts a 9/11 Memorial Ceremony on September 11th to remember. Yesterday morning approximately 100 people attended the memorial including performers; the Bottineau Choir, Vocal Ease, and the Cando Children’s Choir.
Both American and Canadian representatives shared their remorse and memories of that fateful day. But also, they reflected on the standing together as two countries side by side, to support and encourage each other on both sides of the border.
Rick Felstead is the Director on the Board of Directors at the International Peace Garden. Felstead is also Honourary Colonel for Brandon’s 26th Field Regiment (ret’d).
As the Master of Ceremonies of yesterday’s event, Felstead said the memorial is important to both countries. “Each September 11th, we have a ceremony to remember the incident that happened, and to reflect on it and bring people together from across the border to share our thoughts and feelings.”
The memorial site displays the girders from the World Trade Centre brought to the IPG by the Canadian Government. Rotary International funded the permanent memorial site for 9/11 and it was officially opened in 2010.
“That’s what’s here,” explained Col Felstead. “It’s a memorial to 9/11. We have the story boards that tell the story of the incident plus how this here came about and who did what to make it happen.”
“So if you come to the garden, and you visit the 9/11 Memorial you can reflect on what this means, but you can read the whole story about it too.”
Visit the International Peace Garden website at www.memorialmapping.com/memorials/international-peace-garden-9-11-memorial for more information.