Boundary County’s 9/11 Twenty Year Memorial Service Of Remembrance
By Donna Capurso, Patriot Journalist
In honor of those whose lives were lost or permanently impacted on September 11, 2001, the Boundary County Chaplain Corps was proud to sponsor a local commemoration.
Saturday’s memorial service was well attended by Boundary County fire personnel, EMS, Sheriff’s Department, Bonners Ferry personnel as well as many Boundary County residents despite the rainy weather. The ceremony took place at the gazebo at the county fairgrounds with a large assortment of emergency equipment in the parking lot.
The memorial began with the presentation of the Colors by the Boundary County Fire Rescue Honor Guard. The call to attention came from Fire Chief Gus Jackson, the North Bench Fire Department Chief.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chaplain Paula DesBiens, followed by Chaplain Len Pine singing our National Anthem, which personally brought tears to my eyes.
The following welcome was presented by Chaplain Matthew Brakeman:
“Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Boundary County Chaplain Corps, thank you for joining us today. Thank you also to those who brought your children, that they might bear witness to children of their own one day, who will have no memory of the events we gather to commemorate.
Our special thanks to the first responders, and those who cannot be here because they are on duty serving the people of this town, county, and state as we speak. You all exemplify the spirit of public service we honor today!
And a very heartfelt thank you to all the spouses, children, family and friends who support and love our public servants, who have often been absent from your lives because of their calling to service… thank you! You have borne the brunt of their sacrifice and we are grateful!
On the morning of Sept 11, 2001, many of us clearly remember first seeing or hearing the news of an aircraft crashing into the north tower of the World trade Center. Reporting was mixed, accurate information was hard to come by and speculation was rampant.
Each of us has unique memories of the events that followed; the attack on the south tower, then at the Pentagon and finally United flight 93 crashing in a Pennsylvania field. The acts of heroism that led to that crash, killing all the people aboard the plane but none on the ground, were only known to a 911 dispatcher and a few others until revealed during the investigation that followed. Their self-sacrifice was at least some measure of victory against the terrorists who planned much more carnage.
In the hours and days that followed, those of us old enough to remember saw our communities and our country unite for a time… displays of love for our country and our neighbors were evident more than any other time in my memory. Many thousands of Americans left school, quit good jobs, sacrificed their retirement and enlisted or commissioned in the military, joined the civil service or volunteered. Americans wanted to make a difference! The American flag flew proudly on front porches and from moving cars, trucks and motorcycles all across this country, in red and blue states, on farms and over factories, city and country alike, we were all Americans. It was beautiful!
Then came fear and anger… which continue to divide much of our country today. Yet here we are in Bonners Ferry (God’s country…and may it truly be so)… home for those of us blessed to call it that! We might not all agree on the finer points of politics or religion or other divisive topics, but our opinions are not what really matters. What matters is what we have in common…we are humans created in the image of a loving God, and by His grace we were born, or became, Americans. As Americans, who enjoy the freedom to peaceably assemble, we gather here today to honor the memory of those who died on Sept 11, 2001, some of them heroically that others might live! Many Americans and some of our allies, on that day and in the 20 years since, have laid down their own lives to fight, not because they hated the enemy, but because they loved others more than themselves…
It is written that “perfect love casts out fear”… it is our hope and prayer that we as a nation will come back to our first love, and use our freedoms to honor God and one another, His image bearers, and that we would do so without fear…. let’s lead the way in this community first!
Thank you again for joining us here today in remembrance, it’s an honor to be among true Americans on this day and in this town. Semper Fidelis, and may God bless America”
Bonner County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Dave Lotze, tolling of the bell:
It reminds us that freedom is an important part of who we are as Americans, and who we are as a community, as citizens of this world. “The bell will toll for victims, the hero’s and those who were united in the chaos.”
“For whom the bell tolls” comes from an essay by the 17th century British poet and religious writer, John Donne.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the
continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
Donne’s answer to this question is, because none of us stands alone in the world, each human death affects all of us. Every funeral bell, therefore, “tolls for thee.”
A total of 2,977 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks, citizens of 78 countries died in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. At the World Trade Center, 2,763 died after the two planes slammed into the twin towers. That figure includes 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. At the Pentagon, 189 people were killed, including 64 on American Airlines Flight 77, the airliner that struck the building. On Flight 93, 44 people died when the plane crash-landed in Pennsylvania.
There is not a person here that was alive on 9/11 that does not remember where they were or how they felt. We stand here today in unity, to honor, remember, grieve and heal, we are not here to celebrate the chaos of 9/11, we’re here to remember the heroes, and the community that grew from the ashes. And we are reminded that we all have a part in it. No man is an island. “The bell tolls for thee”
8:46 – Flight 11 crashes into the north face of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, between floors 93 and 99. All 92 people on board are killed.
8:50–8:54 – Flight 77 is hijacked above southern Ohio. There are five hijackers on board.
9:03 – Flight 175 crashes into the south face of the South Tower of the World Trade Center, between floors 77 and 85. All 65 people on board are killed.
9:28 – Flight 93 is hijacked above northern Ohio. There are four hijackers on board.
9:37 – Flight 77 crashes into the western side of The Pentagon. All 64 people on board are killed.
9:45 – United States airspace is shut down; all operating aircraft are ordered to land at the nearest airport.
9:59 – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses, 56 minutes after the impact of Flight 175.
10:03 – Flight 93 is crashed by its hijackers in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Later reports indicate that passengers had learned about the World Trade Center and Pentagon crashes and were resisting the hijackers. All 44 people on board are killed in the crash.
10:28 – The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses, 1 hour and 42 minutes after the impact of Flight 11. The Marriott Hotel at the base of the two towers is also destroyed.
10:50 – Five stories of the western side of the Pentagon collapse due to the fire.
Two and a half hours after the first plane left Boston, the iconic “Twin Towers” lay in ruins in Lower Manhattan, and brave first responders and military personnel were scrambling to save lives and secure the country.
Tolling of the bell, 0903 hours by Chaplain Dave Lotze
• 9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC’s South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.
Christine Lee Hanson, a toddler who loved Mickey Mouse and making her family smile, was less than an hour into her first airplane ride, sitting with her mom and dad, when her father placed a call to his parents. “Dad,” Peter Hanson said over the phone, “I think we’re being hijacked.”
It was Sept. 11, 2001, and Peter, his wife, Sue Kim, and Christine, 2½, were going to California, where they planned to see relatives and go to Disneyland. The family was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, the second plane to be hijacked. Christine was the youngest victim, one of eight children killed that day.
Today, Christine would have been 22, but her grandmother still sees her as the energetic girl who carried a Peter Rabbit stuffed animal with her everywhere, a beloved possession that her grandparents donated to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
For 20 years, her grandmother has thought of her on missed milestones: What would have been Christine’s first day of kindergarten. When she would have graduated high school. When she would have gotten her first job out of college.
Tolling of the bell
At 9:33 am, Flight 77 turned south and headed for the Pentagon. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport tower passed to the Secret Service Operations Center in Washington, D.C. the alarming word that “an aircraft is coming at you and not talking with us.” A minute later, the plane turned south below Alexandria, Virginia, circled back to the northeast, and flew toward Washington again. Its destination was the Pentagon, not the White House or the Capitol.
At 9:37:46 am, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon .
The Pentagon’s on-site firehouse responded immediately to the crash. Firefighters from nearby Reagan National Airport and Virginia’s Arlington County Fire Department arrived within minutes. Many civilian employees and military personnel evacuated the building shortly after the impact, while others felt compelled to rush into the burning structure to rescue trapped and injured colleagues. One-hundred-and-eighty-four lives were lost at the Pentagon that day. They were men, women, and children. They were mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons. They came from all walks of life: administrative assistants, doctors, educators, flight crew members, military leaders, scientists, and students. They came from towns and cities, large and small, across the United States and around the world. The youngest was only three years old; the oldest, 71. Despite the differences that distinguish them, these innocent individuals are united through the horrific events that unfolded on one of the darkest days in America’s history. “The bell tolls for thee”.
Chaplain Len Pine presented a short but interesting history of the “Star Spangled Banner” which can be read here:
Chaplain Pine then sang the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Chaplain Lewis Clark provided statistics.
Chief Brian Zimmerman asked for 50 “Seconds of Silence” (1 second for every 100 innocent lives lost – total 5000+/-).
Tolling of the Bell by Chaplain Dave Lotze:
*American Airline Flight 77, Pentagon (actual time, 0937 hrs.)
*United Airlines Flight 93, Shanksville, PA (actual time, 1003 hrs.)
*First Responders (Fire, 343; Law Enforcement, 60)
A prayer by Chaplain Todd Krautkremer
Call to Attention by Chief Gus Jackson
Retiring of the Colors by BCFR Honor Guard
“Amazing Grace” sung by Chaplain Len Pine
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