NEW BRITAIN - Central Connecticut State University is remembering those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001 today by placing a wreath near their peace pole and a message to the school community.
“Eighteen years have passed since the tragic events of September 11, 2001,” said President Toro in an email. “I encourage you to take a moment, throughout the day, to reflect on the events of September 11, 2001, and appreciate the freedom that we all enjoy every day.”
It has been 18 years since al-Qaida hijackers commandeered four U.S. commercial airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, according to the Associated Press. Nearly 3,000 people were killed during the largest terrorist attack on American soil.
In New York, victims’ relatives assembled at Ground Zero Wednesday morning, where the observance began with a moment of silence and the tolling of bells at 8:46 a.m. - the exact time a hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center’s north tower, the AP reported.
Elsewhere around the country, with the American flag flying atop the White House at half-staff, President Donald Trump began the day with a moment of silence on the South Lawn with first lady Melania Trump and dozens of members of the executive branch. He then headed to the commemoration at the Pentagon around 9:37 a.m., the time when a plane crashed into the building. Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to speak at the third crash site, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
A Peace Pole is an, “internationally-recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, standing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth,” according to worldpeace.org. Each pole reads “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in different language on each of its four or six sides. “There are estimated over 250,000 Peace Poles in every country in the world dedicated as monuments to peace,” the website said.
“Let us never forget those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and the family and friends whose lives were forever changed by this senseless act of terrorism,” Toro said in her email. “I also ask that you remember the heroic efforts of the first responders, many of whom risked their lives to save others.”