It is eight years since one of the worst terrorist attacks struck the United States of America. More than three thousand people lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, and WHIZ’s Emily Baird explains while 9/11 helped us become a stronger nation, people will never forget the events of that tragic day.
“I was a Common Pleas Judge for Muskingum County at that time, and someone came in, told us about that, and we immediately got to a TV set. (We) watched the rest of it like everybody else did, ” says Zanesville Mayor, Howard Zwelling.
“I was a classroom teacher at Riverview, actually a Social Studies teacher. So, the relevancy of this issue and certainly the significance of it was something that we talked about for the next few weeks, ” says Zanesville High School Principal, Mark Ulbrich.
“I was on duty. Actually, the day that happened (I was on duty) as an Assistant Chief. It’s just something that I’ll never forget, ” says Zanesville Fire Chief, Dave Lacy.
It is an image that keeps coming back to Americans as we remember the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93, that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
“I recall that day, a lot of people went on to the streets. There were a lot of traffic jams. Gas prices went up. People were trying to buy food, ” says Lacy.
“We were made aware that there are people that want us to die and will do anything they can to kill Americans, ” says Zwelling.
“I think we all know that day that our world had changed. The world in which we lived in had changed. We didn’t know to what extent, but we knew that this was history, ” says Ulbrich.
Men and woman, from emergency personnel to pedestrians, risked their lives to save others on that fateful day.
“It’s just hard to restrain our people. They’re going to go save someone if they can, ” says Lacy.
Lacy and Zwelling say it has changed the way rescue crews respond.
“We have a better system now to protect our people than we had before because it woke us up, ” says Zwelling.
Both say there’s a lot more planning on the local, state, and federal levels for major events, like 9/11, to protect citizens across the country. Lacy says more information is being shared between police, fire, and EMS, and as we remember what happened on this day, the events are being brought up in classrooms as well.
“I think it’s really our job as educators to continually keep it at the forefront of our fronts and use it as a way to teach students lessons about history and about our society, ” says Ulbrich.
Memorial services were held across the country on this day and flags were lowered to half-staff.