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9-11 Memorials Honor the Fallen

A piece of steel from one of the World Trade Center towers brought down on September 11th, 2001 by Islamic terrorists, on display at the Brewer Fire Department. Photo Credit-Susan Patten/Townsquare Media

It’s a powerful moment when you touch the steel, knowing it was plucked from the debris that was once one of the World Trade Center towers.

Powerful because of all the innocent lives lost that day.

With the exception of those who were not yet born, or very young at the time, everyone remembers where they were when they heard about the planes flying into the World Trade Center Towers.

I was working in a radio news department here in Maine, chatting with my co-workers when someone yelled to me, “Hey Susan, a plane just hit one of the World Trade Towers!”

My initial reaction was glib, and I remember saying, ” Wow! Someone either had really poor judgement or they just committed suicide.” Never knowing at the time that it was indeed a suicide mission, conducted by 19 radical Islamists from Saudi Arabia.

We all stood, in utter disbelief, and watched the second airliner bank around and head straight for the next tower.

That’s the exact moment when I snapped out of my daze and said, “Oh my God we’re under attack!”  What was only really a matter of second, seemed like a life time as I raced to the phone to call my husband. The words I spoke were completely surreal.

“Honey we’re being attacked. Planes have crashed into the World Trade towers in New York and there are other planes that have been hijacked and they’re unaccounted for. Please go get the girls from school…I don’t know when I’ll be able to get home.”

It was my job to report the news and try to get information for Mainer’s who were confused and frightened, as armed soldiers with the Maine National Guard started to put barriers up at Bangor International Airport.

Naturally, we started wall-to-wall coverage of the event unfolding and I remember going on the air for a report and then turning my mic off and bursting into tears. It was a sequence that would continue round the clock for at least 48 hours after the attacks.

Many events are planned today throughout the state as Mainer’s remember and honor those lost.

Among the Maine victims were retirees Jackie and Robert Norton of Lubec, Portland lawyer James Roux, Stephen Ward of Gorham, and Navy Cmdr. Robert Allan Schlegel.

The Brewer Fire Department will host an open house today from Noon until 4 pm so people can come in and visit their fire museum and see the pieces of steel from the World Trade towers on display at the fire department.

The City of Eastport will also hold a 9-11 Freedom March starting at 6 pm tonight.

 

 

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