BUCKHANNON — September 11 is a day that America will always remember.
On this day in 2001, the terrorist group, al-Qaeda carried out four attacks on the United States of America, resulting in the deaths of 2,977 people. Nineteen al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four planes and crashed them into the North and South World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. The plane that was headed for Washington D.C. crashed into a field in Pennsylvania before making it to its intended destination.
This is what comprised the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history.
Local veteran and City Council Member, Mary Albaugh, described her memories of September 11 in Buckhannon. “When 9/11 happened, I was working at West Virginia Wesleyan in housing, which was in Agnes Howard Hall at the time,” Albaugh said. “It freaked us all out. People were crying and scared. One of the student’s father worked at the Pentagon. We were all glued there, holding one another.”
Albaugh went on to describe how September 11 affected her in that moment. “I knew about war, since I was a veteran,” she said. “My brother was killed in Vietnam, so I know about the knocking at the door, but this was an attack on all of us.”
Albaugh went on to say that it not only brought the community together, but also the country. She expressed that she would never forget what happened that day.
Sergeant Kit Cottrill, an Army Recruiter in Buckhannon, was at work in Fairmont, WV when he heard the news. “I wasn’t in the military at the time, but I wanted to go back in and do whatever I could to help,” Cottrill said.
Assistant professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College Travis Zimmerman was in the Army National Guard at the time. “I was on my way into class and a friend of mine, who was also in the National Guard at the time, stopped me and said ‘Hey man, did you hear? A plane hit the World Trade Center,’ and I said ‘No, I didn’t hear anything about it. I’m going to be late for class. I gotta go.’”
At the time, Zimmerman said he assumed that his friend meant that someone who wasn’t a very good pilot just accidentally hit the side of a building. Zimmerman said that he went to class and his professor taught like nothing had happened. “Immediately after that class, I went to lunch and I was standing in the Subway in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania,” Zimmerman said. “They had a TV screen in the corner of the restaurant, and I was standing in line when the second plane hit the towers. I thought, oh that’s what my friend was talking about. This is a big deal.”
The tragic events of that day have been permanently etched in everyone’s minds, whether they were adults or children, directly affected or watching through a television screen. No matter where people were or what they were doing, they will always remember what happened on that fateful day, and as Americans, we should never forget September 11, 2001.