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9/11: 10 years later


Community members reflect back on tragic day


September 07, 2011
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. Those attacks shocked not only the United States, but the entire world as videos played and replayed the events and people watched in amazement and shock at the damage and carnage.

It was the first time this nation had been attacked on its own soil, and the country was caught off-guard by the violence that was so thinly motivated, yet meticulously planned by a small group of terrorists.

Most people can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when the attacks were announced. And much of the country stopped and watched the unbelievable unfold on their TV screens as a second plane plunged into one of the towers, caught live by TV and personal video cameras.

"I was shocked when I actually watched the plane hit the second tower," Wayne Kennedy, of Floyds Knobs, said. "I just couldn't pull myself away from the TV. I was supposed to be on my way to work, but, all of a sudden, that wasn't important. It was almost like the whole country was wounded, and I wanted to be sure we'd survive the wounds. As the day went on, I just couldn't think of anything else. This was a shocked nation, and I was part of that."

"We were making repairs on the Cannelton Bridge that week," Jack Carr, of Milltown, said. "I was driving down there that morning and heard about the first plane hitting the tower on the radio. By the time I got to Cannelton, the second plane had hit. I didn't actually know that the towers had fallen until about mid-morning. We worked all day, and, when I got home that evening, I was able to watch the videos of the attacks on TV. I was shocked to see the towers fall. The top floors collapsed on lower floors, and they just kept coming down. A lot of people are still grieving from those attacks. I knew it was a Muslim group who did it right off. They had tried to do it once before. It's hard to understand that kind of anger. It's hard to believe that someone would give up their life in order to do that kind of violence to innocent people. We are certainly more aware now, but I believe it could still happen again. I hope it never does."

"I don't think the attacks could have been prevented," said Bill Dubois, who lives near Frenchtown. "We had some intelligence, but the guy who offered information about the risk of an attack was fired. And one agency wouldn't talk to another, and a lot of details were swept under the rug. But Timothy McVeigh was really our first terrorist attack, before (Osama) bin Laden, and that one caught us off guard, as well. A lot of innocent people died for nothing."

"I was at the office in Corydon the morning of the attacks," Kent Barrow, Crawford County EMA director, said. "We turned on the TV and watched it all. At first, I didn't know what was going on. By the time it was over, I was shocked and surprised. It was hard to believe that we could be attacked that way. We had family and friends in the Pentagon, and we were concerned about them. My brother-in-law's brother didn't go to work that day, and the plane that hit the Pentagon ended up in his office. He was lucky. I believe we are more aware of the dangers of terrorism now, of actually being hit by terrorists, but I'm not so sure that we're safer now."

"I was sitting in my living room about to go to work that morning," Georgetown Police Chief Dennis Kunkle said. "When the first plane hit, I assumed it was an accident. I called my wife, and she just couldn't believe it. When the first plane hit, it got everyone's attention, and a lot of people were watching the news as the other plane hit, and we watched it all unfold. It was just horrible. We're not supposed to be attacked on our own land. If I watch the videos today, I'll still get tears in my eyes. And some of the worst of it wasn't shown on the videos or TV, all the people jumping off the roof and out of windows; we didn't see that. But it was amazing how people came together. There were flags hanging everywhere, and people offered to help any way they could. And those attacks brought unity to the whole world; for a while, it was a tight-knit world. There were businesses from all over the world in those towers, and they suffered losses, too. But I think time heals and people forget the feeling they had when it all happened. We become lackadaisical again and forget how united we were. But we have to remain vigilant and not become too comfortable. It could happen again, anywhere. We know there are terrorists in our country, and we can't forget that. We know now how dangerous they can be."

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