17 Years Later, The Pain Is Still Real

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Community remembers the day we shall never forget

(Photo by Fred Greco)

The Town of North Hempstead lost 56 individuals on September 11, 2001. And 17 years later, the terror and devastation of that day lives on in the lives of United States citizens no matter where you go in the country.

For those who were not born yet and are unaware of what happened, the September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated attacks by Al-Qaeda, an Islamic terrorist group. Four passenger airlines were hijacked by 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists; two were targeted to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, one targeted the Department of Defense at the Pentagon and the fourth, which targeted Washington, D.C., crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers thwarted the attack.

The attack was horrific, marking the first successful attack on American main-land soil. The attacks killed 2,996 people and injured more than 6,000. In New York, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the North and South towers. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed. Debris and the resulting fires caused partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47-story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to 10 other large surrounding structures.

The area was toxic. Many who valiantly raced to the scene and stayed to work tirelessly in the recovery effort at Ground Zero passed away from 9/11-related cancers and respiratory diseases, such as firefighter John F. Moran of Manhasset, who just recently passed at age 50 leaving behind a wife and two children. He is just one of many postmortem casualties of the date.

In a sign of nonpartisan leadership, the country’s government came together in more ways than one, including the signing of a bill making September 11 a national day of mourning. The date was proclaimed as Patriot Day when 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans co-sponsored the bill, which passed the Senate unanimously and passed by the House 407-0. President George W. Bush signed it into law a short time later.

“September 11th, 2001. Remember these times….8:46 a.m……9:03 a.m…..9:37 a.m…..10:07 a.m.,” wrote Dr. Kathy Levinson of Port Washington on her Facebook page. “Do you remember where you were? Of course you do. Do you know someone who was lost that day? Undoubtedly. Never forget. Never let anyone rewrite or diminish the profound magnitude of this tragedy and loss.”

This year, the date of that fateful attack fell again on a Tuesday, but the day in 2018 was marked with rain, unlike the clear blue skies the metropolitan area saw in 2001. North Hempstead officials began the day of remembrance in the morning and the clergy gathered with the community at night. Due to weather, memorial services are scheduled to be inside.

“We gather as a community to honor and recognize those who lost their lives 17 years ago, including the 56 individuals from our North Hempstead family,” said Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth.

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.

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