BRISTOL – Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, the memory of the tragedy that shook the nation lives on as strong as ever at Bristol Hospital.
Kurt Barwis, president and CEO of Bristol Health, stood outside the Brewster Road campus on a bright, sunny Friday that almost resembled the weather the day of the terrible tragedy. Just a day shy of the 20th anniversary, Barwis said what many people can still say two decades after the terrorist attacks: he remembers exactly where he was when he heard the awful news.
Barwis was at a hospital in Maryland. But his memory of Sept. 11, 2001, is much more vivid than just that.
“I remember exactly where I was,” the hospital president and CEO said. “I was walking through the outpatient registration department and they had TV monitors on, and it felt like time just froze. Like nobody went and got their phlebotomy stuff done. Everybody just stood still and it...honestly, I don’t think I left that area for hours. Just in awe, people just crying and in shock. I don’t know that anybody’s accounted for how many families were disrupted, lost. And it’s just an incredible moment in time that I hope forever more we remember 9/11.”
Barwis went on to recognize the “bravery and heroism” that was shown by the many people, including first responders, who headed into the Twin Towers to help others knowing there was a chance they were never going to walk back out.
Hospital officials on Friday also went through a brief timeline of the 9/11 attacks, which included the Pentagon being struck and the brave passengers of Flight 93 who died attempting to retake control of the hijacked plane and prevent the aircraft from reaching its intended target.
The hospital’s chaplain read several prayers aloud and led the group of 50 or so, who stood in front of Bristol Hospital, adjacent to the American flag, in a moment of silence. Several stories of victims’ family members were also read aloud by hospital officials.
Barwis encouraged everyone on Saturday to reflect on the attacks and offer their thoughts and prayers to those who were directly affected.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.