The Imperial Valley Remembers 9/11

By Jim Predmore
     It has been 11 years since that dreadful day when America was attacked by extreme terrorist, leaving a lasting and far reaching scar on our country. At least 2,985 people died in the September 11, 2001 attacks, including:  19 terrorists and 2,966 victims,
13 later died of their wounds. One person has died since the attacks, of lung cancer which is suspected to have been caused by all the debris from the Twin Towers.
There were 266 people on the four planes:  American Airlines Flight 11 (crashed into the WTC) had 92 on board (including five terrorists), United Airlines Flight 175 (crashed into the WTC) had 65 on board (including five terrorists), American Airlines Flight 77 (crashed into the Pentagon) had 64 souls on board (including five terrorists), and United Flight 93 (downed in Shanksville, PA) lost 45 (including four terrorists)
There were 2,595 people in and around the World Trade Center, including343 NYFD firefighters and paramedics, 23 NYPD police officers, 37 Port Authority police officers, 1,402 people in Tower 1, 614 people in Tower 2, 658 people at the company Cantor Fitzgerald, 1,762 New York residents, 674 New Jersey residents, and1 NYFD firefighter killed by a man jumping off the top floors of the Twin Towers
125 civilians and military personnel lost their life at the Pentagon. 1,609 people lost a spouse or partner on 9/11. More than 3,051 children lost parents. While it was mostly Americans who were killed in this horrific attack, there were also 327 foreign nationals.
The events of that day affected so many around the world and continue to affect people to this day.
Imperial Valley College held an event to remember 911 at their College Center where they showed documentaries on the events of 911.
I spoke to Sarah Lopez of El Centro, a student at IVC, whose dad was in New York on that day and was scheduled to tour the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. She remembers talking to her Dad the night before and how excited he was to able to go on that tour. Johnny Lopez had taken a vacation to spend time with his mother and to see the sights of New York.  He was scheduled to be in the buildings when the planes hit the towers.
Sarah remembers the morning of 911 and how the telephone kept on ringing; friends and family wanting to know if her Dad was alright.  All attempts to reach her dad failed. Sarah remembers watching the news and she remembers the sights to this day. Johnny Lopez missed the tour bus that morning because his mother was ill.  It took him two days to be able to reach any of his family. Sarah Lopez feels so blessed to still have her dad. Sarah was only 6 years old when the Towers fell and states, “Every year I understand a little more about what happened on that day and by watching these documentaries, it helps. I feel so sorry for all of the families that lost loved ones”.
How many stories are there like this one? We think of the ones that have lost their lives and how devastating that must be.  How many others had close calls or had some kind of miraculous intervention?  How many are still affected by health problems? Just this week there are reports of new cancers being discovered as the result of the collapse of the Towers and the clean up.
The events of 911 showed the world how evil exists. So many lives lost and so many effected. As the children that were able to remember those events are now entering college it becomes a history lesson. September 11, 2011 is a history lesson that everyone will remember.