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Editorial: Remember lives lost on Sept. 11

  • Anthony Garzilli/Jasper County Sun Times One of the pools at the 9-11 Memorial in New York City. Monday marked the 16th anniversary of the attacks.

Editor’s note: We were all concerned in the last few days about the pending effects of Hurricane Irma. The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm, but it still hit Jasper County Sunday night and throughout Monday with heavy rain and high winds. There was flooding throughout the county. We hope everybody is safe and helps each other in the recovery process.

The majority of the storm struck yesterday, Sept. 11., the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. In remembrance of the attacks, we are publishing our editorial from last year, which marked the 15th anniversary.

It’s a year later, but the sentiment remains:

There’s a spot of constant quiet in New York City.

Just outside of the urgent traffic and blaring car horns and sirens stands the 9-11 Memorial in Manhattan.

Fifteen years ago this Sunday, terrorists attacked the United States. The attack at the World Trade Center led to the deaths of 2,606 people.

Overall, 2,996 people died, including 125 at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Since its opening in 2011, thousands have visited the memorial to witness the two large pools and cluster of 400 swamp white oak trees.

We visited the site for the first time on a recent August afternoon.

There were hundreds of people scattered around, hunched over the pools’ ledges, eyeing the 30-foot waterfalls.

A woman intently read the inscripted names of those who died; her fingers traced the wall as she slowly moved along.

The inscriptions line both pools. There are thousands of names. Men, women, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. Firefighters. Cops.

White roses also dot the memorial. Sometimes they were spread feet apart; other times we saw them in a small cluster.

They represented birthdays. Each victim’s birthday is celebrated with a white rose placed in the names etched on the memorial.

It’s both a heartbreaking and heartwarming sight.

We stood among the tourists as they took pictures and children scampered around the grounds, but the loudest sounds came from the low drone of the memorial’s rushing water.

For a few moments the bustling city was reduced to a collective silence.

We looked at all those names and remembered that terrifying September morning and wondered how it could already be 15 years.

There’s great distance in those 15 years and the separation of 750 miles from here to New York City, but we were all touched by the events of Sept. 11.

We live with the effects each day. We’ll always live with that day close to our psyche.

The 9-11 Memorial is a reminder of the day’s pain, and we should spend a moment each anniversary in memory of those lost.

We didn’t know anybody killed in the attacks, but we know the anguish of losing loved ones.

Many innocent lives were lost 15 years ago. This week we honor them and their families.

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