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Twenty years later

Posted 9/10/21

Where were you 20 years ago on September 11? What were you doing when you heard the news?

Our editorial staff (in-office), as of now, are all under 30 years old. We remember listening to the radio …

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Twenty years later


Where were you 20 years ago on September 11? What were you doing when you heard the news?

Our editorial staff (in-office), as of now, are all under 30 years old. We remember listening to the radio as we were being dropped off to elementary school or our parents, friends and educators tense and full of shock and disbelief.

In the days that followed, our teachers and loved ones were tasked with explaining to us exactly what the images we saw on TV meant. Before then, we never gave a thought to the term terrorist or how one person or group of individuals could do something so heinous?

Sure … this wasn’t mankind’s first rodeo with acts of pure evil. This is the same species that carried out a Holocaust and enslaved millions … however, those conversations and history lessons were normally saved for a few years later.

But after seeing these events broadcasted live on a TV screen, we were naturally curious. Reflecting now 20 years later, we give credit to those adults who understood the moment, as unfortunate as it was, and took the time to give us some level of understanding.

For our generation, there are few memories that we have of a pre-9/11 world. We’ve grown up with additional airport checks and security measures. A time without them in place seems unrealistic. Even more so for those born in the new millennium.

It is also a day of profound loss. New York City is a beacon to the rest of the world. People from all over the globe go there for opportunity and to experience the Big Apple. Therefore, the impact of the loss of lives that day is immense. Those of us who can say they did not lose a friend, family member, loved one, or didn’t even know a person who lost their life on 9/11, are few and far between.

Despite the destruction and tragedy from 9/11, there was something else even us kids were able to notice. We saw firefighters, EMTs and police charge into the rubble, and everyday people helping their fellow injured. They didn’t wear capes or have a schtick, but these were in fact real life heroes. Many of these heroes lost their lives helping their fellow man, if not from injuries sustained, then from medical conditions developed as a result in the years that followed.

A sacrifice that can never be repaid.

As kids we might not have fully grasped the concept of political parties or differing ideologies, but even we could see an America united. Our country took the biggest punch in the mouth in its over 200-plus years of existence, and got back up, refusing to let terrorism win.

In today’s newspaper you’ll find our annual Firemen’s Parade special section, which includes content marking 9/11’s 20th anniversary. We’ll also be at 9/11 ceremonies across the county tomorrow, with coverage appearing in Tuesday’s Democrat.

Please see page 13F of that edition for a complete list of services for 9/11 in Sullivan County.

While the memories of 9/11 are different for us all, a common thread is that we will never forget what happened 20 years ago. Continued coverage of 9/11 is our paper doing its part to make sure no one forgets and that future generations can learn what happened.

And while we are at it

We would like to acknowledge all those first responders, healthcare workers, EMS personnel and law enforcement who dedicate so much time and effort into keeping us safe and healthy.

During these extraordinary times it does not go unnoticed how so many people – many of them volunteers – dedicate themselves to helping our communities become better places.

Whether you drive a firetruck, are an EMT on an ambulance corps, work in our local hospital or patrol our roads making sure we are safe, we want to say ‘Thank you for all you do.”

We urge all our readers to attend the 92nd Annual Sullivan County Volunteer Firefighters Assn. Parade next Saturday, September 18 at 1 p.m. in Grahamsville where you can tell your volunteers first hand how much you appreciate them.


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