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Annual 9/11 Memorial Service and Tree Planting Ceremony Scheduled in Dodge City

Judd Weil-News Director


The City of Dodge City announced on Aug. 29, the annual 9/11 Day of Remembrance Memorial Service is scheduled for the 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11.

It has been 21 years since the day of Sept. 11, 2001, when four coordinated suicide terrorist attacks were carried out by the militant Islamic extremist network al-Qaeda, directed by terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. The attacks were carried out via passenger airplane hi-jacking

The Tree Planting Ceremony coinciding with the plane crashes will occur on Monday, Sept. 12 near the Wright Park Band Shell, St. 71, N. 2nd Ave.

The first tree planting will begin at 7:45 a.m., in remembrance of those who died from the first plane’s, American Airlines Boeing 767, crash at 8:46 a.m. eastern time, into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, New York City, N.Y.

The impact left a gaping, burning hole near the 80th floor of the building, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in higher floors.

The second tree will be planted at 8:03 a.m., for United Airlines Flight 175’s crash into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m. eastern time.

By the second crash, it was realized the United States was under attack.

Both 110-story towers collapsed within an hour and forty-two minutes, leading to the collapse of the other World Trade Center structures including original 7 World Trade Center, and significantly damaging surrounding buildings.

Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a 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.

Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 other people were treated for injuries, many severe.

A third tree will be planted at 8:45 a.m. in remembrance of hijacked flight American Airlines Flight 77’s crash into the west side of the Pentagon in Arlington County, Va. at 9:37 a.m. eastern time. This attack caused a partial building collapse of the U.S. military headquarters.

In total, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon along with all 64 people aboard the third airliner.

A final tree planting will take place 9:10 a.m. to coincide with the final plane, United Flight 93’s, crash, 10:03 a.m. eastern time.

United Flight 93 was originally bound for California but had been delayed in taking off. Due to the delay, the passengers on board learned of events in New York and Washington via cell phone and Airfone calls to the ground.

Knowing the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants fought back.

One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone, “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.”

Todd Beamer, another passenger, stated, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line.

Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”

The passengers fought the four hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher.

The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field in Stonycreek Township, Pa. near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania.

All 45 people aboard were killed. United Flight 93’s intended target is not known, but surrounding theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard.

Osama bin Laden would eventually be killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m., during a C.I.A.-led raid, codenamed Operation Neptune Spear

“We want to thank Western Beverage and Fidelity State Bank for sponsoring two of the trees that will be planted,” said Corey Keller, Keep Dodge City Beautiful Coordinator. “The planting of the trees is also in conjunction with the Keep America Beautiful annual National Day of Planting, which begins September 8.”

At 5 p.m., the Day of Remembrance Memorial Service will take place at Liberty Garden on the east side of Hoover Pavilion. The service is held to remember those who lost their lives from the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, and those servicemen and women who gave their lives and who continue to serve in the fight on terrorism.

“The public is welcome at both events and encouraged to participate in these days of honor and remembrance,” said Nick Hernandez, City Manager.

For those who are unable to attend but would like to watch the tree planting and memorial service, the City of Dodge City will be broadcasting the events live on their Facebook page.

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