Remembering the events of September 11, 2001

Remembering September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001. A day etched into many of our memories. A day forever filled with emotion. And a day memorialized throughout our country and in our History books. As we commemorate the 20th Anniversary, we honor the people who lost their lives that day along with the people who have defended the United States and fought for our freedom ever since.

The events of September 11, 2001, while now taught in a classroom, were felt around the world and continue to have a ripple effect for so many. It is a topic that, without requiring a prompt, typically results in a recalled memory of ‘where you were.’ We asked our employees to share their stories and honor the memories of everyone impacted by that fateful day. Here are just a few of the perspectives from our GWB Family:

  • Lucas, who was only in 7th grade and sitting in his homeroom at the time of the events, joined the Army and served in Afghanistan because of that day. We are proud of Lucas and the other service members within GWB – we applaud their bravery and thank each one for their service. And we stand behind Lucas and his powerful words, “To all of those who lost their life on 9/11 and to all of the brave men and women who stepped up to the Nation's calling after that tragedy, I salute you.”

  • Linnae, who was working out of our Bellevue, NE location, recalls a somber awareness throughout the area, “In our Air Force community, it seemed everyone stopped what they were doing and I think many of us realized that it would hit close to home very quickly.” She remembers listening in silence with her coworkers, and expressed their shared sentiment, “The news of the aircraft in Pennsylvania where the passengers so bravely took down the plane to avoid another strike on a heavily-populated city was immediately seen as both heroic and horrific.”

  • Macala expressed her memory, “I think like much of the country, I was paralyzed by the events as they unfolded. My sense of safety and security was challenged in a way I initially couldn't verbalize or give action to. I personally didn't know any of the victims that day; but there was a palpable connection I felt. I too was a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a person - the immediate and residual loss of September 11, 2001 serves a defining event in my life.”

  • Another employee explained their memory of being at college and recalls driving home listening to the radio, learning more news about what happened. Knowing there was a ‘no fly’ rule mandated for the entire country yet hearing a plane overhead, they pulled into a parking lot and watched as Air Force One fly over their head. They went on to describe their college campus, “Everything was quieter than usual. Calm. Eerie. I started to think about how many lives were immediately and directly affected that day.”

  • Although only 3 years old at the time, one employee has vivid memories of the preschool teachers watching the horrors play out on the television. The events of that day drastically changed their family's life when their father, already a police officer, decided it was time to serve his country and join the Navy after 9/11 occurred. They shared, “My father never lets my brother and I forget the events of that day and always reminds us of the importance of serving and standing up for your country.”

No two stories alike. No two experiences the same. Yet all were wrought by a single day; a historic tragedy that transformed the world.

2,743 people were killed at the World Trade Center, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers. 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the pentagon, along with all 64 people aboard the airliner. And 44 brave passengers aboard Flight 93 were killed as they courageously fought the hijackers and crashed the plane in a rural field near Shanksfille, Pennsylvania. May we never forget the sacrifices of so many brave civilians, military personnel and first responders.

20 years later and just as powerful of memories. We encourage everyone to use September 11th as a reminder that every day is truly a gift; a chance to spend time with family and to make a difference.

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