By Natalka Karaman, Contributing Writer
The attacks on September 11, 2001 forever changed our lives, our country, and our world as previously unfathomable tragedy unfolded before our eyes. Across the state Saturday and Sunday, Pennsylvanians remembered the events of that fateful day and came together in memorials and commemorations in remembrance of the lives lost and the heroes forged. They stood in solidarity with the families who experienced tremendous grief that day. They offered respectful support to those who survived and to those who continue to suffer.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited Shanksville yesterday to place a wreath of white flowers at the memorial dedicated to the 40 people who lost their lives on United Flight 93. Dignitaries at the ceremony included Gov. Tom Corbett, U.S. Rep. Mark Critz and former Gov. Tom Ridge. The white marble Wall of Names follows the flight’s path as the passengers fought the hijackers from claiming more innocent lives. It was dedicated in a ceremony on Saturday, in the presence of Vice President Biden, and former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
The Official Pennsylvania Memorial to the Victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks is a 9/11 Garden of Reflection. Entitled “After Darkness…Light,” the garden was created in remembrance of those killed in the terrorist attacks and seeks to offer hope to those coping with the tragedy. It is situated in Memorial Park in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Memorial services were held Sunday morning with music, prayer, speakers, and official honors.
Dozens of services dotted Philadelphia and the surrounding communities.
In Northampton, a solemn ceremony honoring the anniversary of the attacks took place today during the city’s 15th annual festival. The event included speeches by distinguished individuals in the Northampton community, and recognition of military personnel and emergency responders. The raising and saluting of the American flag was the most moving part of the ceremony. A beam from the World Trade Center was also on display.
In Mansfield, the Franklin Fire Company No. 1 held a ceremony today featuring a five foot section of steel from the World Trade Center.
Medford Lakes Fire Company held a procession in commemoration of 9/11 in dedication of the renovated park and its new memorial. The monument features a pentagon shaped pedestal and a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.
Hundreds gathered at ceremonies in Erie, Edinboro and Meadville.
The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra played a memorial concert to an audience of about 2,000.
An Alumni Marching Unit tribute concert in Boyertown drew over 1,100 people.
Pittsburgh honored those deceased with a ceremony at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall.
In Carlisle, Rep. Todd Platts joined veterans and other local officials and others in a packed auditorium to thank those who served.
Every region and community across the state of Pennsylvania – too many to count – had their own memorials, ceremonies, vigils, prayers, concerts, speakers, performances, dedications, tributes, and general remembrances of the tragedy 9/11. No American will ever forget.