“We did not lose. They lost. … We are still a free nation.”
Grantsville Mayor Brent Marshall spoke those words after a 6:46 a.m. siren sound, a flag raising ceremony by his city’s volunteer fire department, and a moment of silence in the early dawn of Sept. 11, 2021 — 20 years after the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Around the same time communities all across Tooele County held a similar event and then embarked on a day of service to remember the unforgettable day of 9/11/2001.
With 20 years gone by, there is a rising generation that was not around to watch the gruesome events of that day unfold, but for many people the memory of where they were on that day is etched into their memory, much like some of the older generation can recall where they were when President Kennedy was shot or when man first landed on the moon.
Around 2,750 people were killed in the World Trade Towers that day, 184 died at the Pentagon, and another 40 died in a field in Pennsylvania where passengers downed their hijacked plane.
Over 400 police officers and firefighters gave their full measure of devotion on Sept. 11, 2001 as they rushed to the scene of the attacks in an attempt to save the lives of others.
The events of that day led to Operation Enduring Freedom and the war with Afghanistan which took a large toll on U.S. lives.
9/11 brought a sense of unity to the country as citizens regardless of political party, age, or religion set down their differences to mourn together and unite against the terrorist’s attempt to break the will of the American people.
“It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us, ” said U.S. Senator John Kerry.
“The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit,” said then-New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. “Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.”
We express our appreciation to the people of Tooele County and all the organizations that planned and participated in the events to remember 9/11 on the 20 anniversary of that day of infamy.
We also express appreciation to all our local first responders — firefighters, police officers and others. It has been a rough time for them.
We know the nature of their duty requires the inward knowledge that they too, like their fellow servants on 9/11, may be called upon in the line of duty to make the ultimate sacrifice.