Sept. 11, 2001, was the day that changed the world. Those who died in the terrorist attacks on that day never got to see the change. For others, the changes will never be forgotten. Families and friends of the victims of 9/11 will never know how their lives would be different if their loved ones were still alive.
Those who were serving in the military will remember that day as the day America went to war, changing their lives in ways nobody will ever know. Some were ushered off to Afghanistan or Iraq, while others fought secret terrorist cells in distant parts of the globe they weren’t allowed to speak of. For the firefighters, police, paramedics and other first responders who saw the destruction on American soil firsthand, the changes were immediate. For others, the changes were slow, creeping and affected their lives in unexpected ways.
Belts and shoes now had to be removed during airport screenings. Police and military checkpoints popped up around bridges, dams and even inside already highly secured military facilities. New rules and laws were put in place that made Americans sacrifice some freedoms in the name of national security, while other changes were made to keep Americans free from further attacks.
However one remembers 9/11 and how it affected them, it will be a day that is not forgotten. The 9/11 memorial at 7520 Corona Ave., in front of Fire Station 20, keeps the memory of that day alive while honoring the 41 firefighters who volunteered to go to the Pentagon after the attack.
The two towers at the memorial stand 10 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet wide, with the names of the 41 firefighters listed on the towers immortalizing their service. At night the towers glow from the backlight, and during the day flowers and candles can be seen around the base of the towers.
In other parts of the city, the day will be remembered with different events, including a 110-story stair climb by Albuquerque Fire Rescue, which honors those who climbed the World Trade Center to rescue victims injured by the two planes that slammed into the buildings that day. The stair climb will be at the downtown WaFD building starting at 8:46 a.m., the same time the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
From 6:46 a.m. to 12:29 p.m. a silent memorial will take place at the Bernalillo County Alvarado Square Building on Silver Ave. The road will be open to vehicles and pedestrians to see the memorial from the ground. To the north of Silver Ave., at Civic Plaza, there will be a memorial service at noon. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Mayor Tim Keller, AFR Fire Chief Gene Gallegos and Albuquerque Police Deputy Chief Michael Smathers are scheduled to attend the event.
To learn more about the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11 and how the country remembers that day, visit 911memorial.org.