Shawn Nowlin firstname.lastname@example.org
Every September 11, Americans are reminded of one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States. The New York City attacks that happened two decades ago remain in the hearts of Salem and Roanoke County residents old enough to remember that tragic day. When all the smoke and debris cleared, 2,996 people lost their lives.
To honor those victims and the significance of the day, the City of Salem held two tributes last Saturday.
At 9 a.m., local firefighters gathered at the 9/11 Memorial at Station One to read the names of those who died 20 years ago. Although the firefighters were in charge of the ceremony, anyone in the community was welcome to show his or her respects.
Eight hours later, the Salem Memorial Ballpark hosted the Regional Stair Climb in which first responders from throughout the area and their families ran the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs – the number found in each of the World Trade Center Towers.
Although the attacks happened more than 460 miles away, Roanoke County resident Josh English, 41, says he can recall every single detail about that fateful Tuesday. “I was out walking my dog in the morning and this elderly couple approached me and said, ‘Did you hear what happened in New York City?’ This was before social media so I couldn’t just log on Facebook or Twitter,” English said. “I, like everyone else I knew, was glued to the television. It was hard to compute what my eyes were seeing.”
Movies like United 93, Fahrenheit 9/11 and World Trade Center all take a straight, fact-based approach to tell the story of what happened that day. To help them get a better understanding of American history, Salem native Chris Stone said he and his four children, ages nine to 16, watched all three films last Saturday. “I want them to be well-informed about history,” he said. “Afterward, we had an in-depth discussion at the dinner table. September 11, 2021, is a day that will never be forgotten.”