This Saturday marks the Twentieth Anniversary of the Terrorist Attacks on our Country. A Memorial Program hosted by VFW Post 914 Intrepid and West Mifflin Borough will be held at 10:00 on Saturday morning at Mitchell Paige Memorial Park, which is located at the intersection of Commonwealth Ave. and Homeville Road. The program consists of: the singing of the National Anthem, Tribute Wreath Laying, playing of Taps, a rifle salute, and Comments by Major (Ret.) John Kelly United States Army.
Major Kelly is the current Public Affairs Director of the US Army Corps of Engineers and President of the Board of the Pittsburgh Warriors Disabled Veteran Hockey Program. Major Kelly is heavily involved with the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog program and is an active Firefighter with Station 180 Jefferson Hills.
Century Heritage Federal Credit Union, which just opened a new branch adjacent to the park, is supplying light refreshments before and after the program.
At 8:46 the morning of September 11th, 2001 life as we knew in the United States of America changed forever. American Airlines Flight 11 was flown directly into the 93rd floor of the North Tower of World Trade Center killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building. Seventeen minutes later the South Tower of the World Trade Center would suffer the same fate.
A third hijacked plane would strike the Pentagon at 9:37 killing 125 Military Personnel. By 9:31 President George W. Bush announced that there were terrorist attacks and we are at war within the boundaries of the United States of America. A fourth hijacked plane believed to be headed toward the White House was overtaken by passengers and crew lead by the passenger Todd Beamer, while talking to GTE Operator Lisa Jefferson, yelled out the challenge “Ok, let’s roll”, and forced a crash landing in Shanksville Pennsylvania.
By the end of the day 2,977 lost their lives. Nineteen hijackers committed suicide. Six thousand individuals were injured, 344 combinations of Firefighters and EMS were Killed as were 72 Police Officers. Additionally, 6,000 were injured in the attack. Since that time thousands have died from contaminants ingested during the rescue and cleanup.
Americans immediately found a new reason to embrace the flag and patriotism that hasn’t been seen for many decades. We vowed as a Country “WE WILL NEVER FORGET.” Did we?
A United States Flag Retirement Receptacle, courtesy of the West Mifflin JR. R.O. T.C. is located in the Park.