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Memories of 9/11 still haunting 13 years later

This evil act took place on September 11th, 2001 at 8:46 AM. American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston hit the North Tower and we were in shock. Then United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower and we than knew we were under attack. This nefarious and egregious act of hate caused our spirit to swell with a renewed sense of patriotism.

Memories of 9/11 still haunting 13 years later

By Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

WTC 9-11We are approaching the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and it still haunts many of us. Like many of my fellow Americans, I seem to be reflecting on that year that was. First of all this date brings out emotions of anger and feelings of loss of so many good people. Let’s look at the numbers at the WTC. The total was 2,823 and of those were 23 police officers, 34 Port Authority officers and 343 firefighters. At the Pentagon, many were killed not to mention those on Flight 91 where an additional 41 died fighting terrorist and crashed in Shanksville, PA.

These may be purely numbers, but every soul had a story to tell and did in the months to transpire. And many of us would read stories and feel that we knew them too. This evil act took place on September 11th, 2001 at 8:46 AM. American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston hit the North Tower and we were in shock. Then United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower and we than knew we were under attack. This nefarious and egregious act of hate caused our spirit to swell with a renewed sense of patriotism.

Flags were flying all over this great nation of ours. Churches and Temples were full. America was hard working to raise money to help the victims. On TV funerals were being broadcast for yet another fallen hero, brave men and women, especially firefighters and police officers, who died. It truly was a time that tried men’s souls. It was also a time where strangers became as friends as we banded together to fight a common foe.

I remember serving as an usher a few days after the attack at St. Anastasia Parish in Douglaston for a interfaith prayer service as a member of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council #5911.The service was for prayers for those who have died and who were still missing. At this service a women stepped up to ask me where she could place her prayer cards. At that moment I saw tears traveling down her cheeks. I took her prayer cards and place them in the proper area, I learned a few days later that her husband was a retired firefighter and died at the scene that later was coined ,” Ground Zero.” It made me feel quite sad.

I found so many people that lost loved ones or knew someone and there were many towns that lost someone all over the tri-state area. I remember walking one Sunday after the attack to the Whistle Stop which was a store next to the LIRR station in Little Neck. I was walking behind a young woman who was jogging. The railroad gate was down and tried to get under the gate but a policeman stopped her. She remarked at that and said,” He is right I don’t want to die,” I have just lost my husband at the WTC.”I wish I had said something to comfort her but was loss for words, I later had some time to reflect and thought to myself, here was a woman who had just lost her husband and so young. They probably had many hopes and dreams of life together and those aspirations died on 9/11.

In closing, as I was reflecting on that day of infamy of Sept. 11, 2001. I remember being at work at Northeast Plumbing in Great Neck and we had just gotten a call from a co-worker named Peter Kirshner who was at home and was on his computer and told us the North Tower had fallen. This was just the beginning of many sad things that occurred that day. We knew we were at war. But as things would be, we were blessed with good leaders and through the words of Mayor Giuliani, who said we would get through this and he was right, not to mention the help we received from Gov. Pataki. We also heard from President George Bush, who said,” the evil doers will pay for what they did this day, for you cannot hide.” As Americans, we have been through a lot but we did survive. When things were at there very worst we found the mettle to be at our very best. As time goes by we must not forget and must tell our children and grandchildren of that fateful day. We found a renewed spirit and a deeper sense of spirituality and a determination to do what is necessary to overcome the evil on that day. Remember this too: We are one nation under God, so God bless America.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr. is Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus, Council #5911 in Douglaston, NY

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