Families and residents in and around Atlanta vowed to “never forget” with citywide tributes and memorials on Sept. 11, 2013. To mark the 12th anniversary of 9/11 and the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., students, public officials, police officers and firemen took part in a variety of remembrances throughout Atlanta where patriotism was definitely in the air.
Northview and Milton High Schools in north Atlanta honored the 2,977 victims of 9/11 with moving flag displays. Each flag represented a life lost on 9/11 and the impact was profound, especially since many of the students were too young to even remember that fateful day in 2001. The JROTC organization at Northview is hosting a ceremony after school. Several military generals are expected to be in attendance. The principal at Milton High School told WSB-TV on Wednesday, “We’re very proud that our students rally behind this to keep ‘Never Forget’ alive.” Milton students gathered on the front steps and sang “God Bless America” before the start of school.
Other 9/11 tributes and memorials were held throughout Atlanta on Wednesday including one in downtown where APD officers and firemen gathered and lowered the American flag to half-staff. APFD Chief Kelvin Cochran said his firemen always face sacrifices. “It is a reality for us each and every day,” he stated on Wednesday. Other 9/11 tributes were held in Roswell, Tucker and East Point.
Across the nation, people vowed to “never forget” on 9/11. President Barack Obama stood outside the Pentagon and honored the Washington, D.C victims. During the ceremony, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stated solemnly, “We remember each of those taken from us. We will remember them as individuals with their own stories.”
In New York City, loved ones read off the names of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. According to the Huffington Post, no politicians spoke on Wednesday. Only the loved ones of those who died took their turn at the podium at the site where the Twin Towers collapsed.
On Tuesday, officials and workers broke ground on a 6,800 sq. ft visitor center in Shanksville, Pa., the site where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after heroic passengers tried to regain control from their hijackers on 9/11/01. “Because of the quick and determined actions of the passengers and crew, Flight 93 was the only one of the four hijacked aircraft that failed to reach the terrorists’ intended target that day,” the National Park Service wrote on its website. “The passengers and crew showed unity, courage, and defiance in the face of adversity.”
To commemorate America’s darkest day, Discovery, History and National Geographic channels are showing TV specials and documentaries that address not only the horrors of 9/11, but also the perseverance, compassion and courage of those whose lives were touched on Sept. 11, 2011. The following specials air on Wednesday night.
- “9/11 Firehouse.” This TV special recalls the events of 9/11 with New York City firefighters. 8-9 p.m. EST.
- “Man Who Predicted 9/11.” The History Channel profiles Rick Rescoria, who saved many lives on 9/11. 8-9 p.m. EST.
- “102 Minutes That Changed America.” The 2-hour special recalls the attacks on the World Trade Center. It includes photos, video and audio recordings from various sources including the FDNY and NYPD. 9-11 p.m. EST.
- “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview.” The former president opens up about Sept. 11, 2001. 8-9 p.m. EST
- “9/11: Where Were You?” This TV special examines the life and death decisions made on 9/11. 9-10 p.m. EST.
- “Witness.” National Geographic recalls the events of 9/11, as captured on home videos. 10-11 p.m. EST.
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