BUCKHANNON — On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda performed the deadliest attack in human history when 19 terrorists hijacked four planes killing 2,977 people. Today, we remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy that will forever be known as 9/11.
The four planes took off from Boston, Mass., Washington, D.C. and Newark, N.J, then two of them deliberately crashed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center and one hit the Pentagon. The fourth plane redirected to Washington, D.C. and was believed to have been headed for The White House, but instead crashed into a field in Shanksville, Penn.
Later that evening, in-office President George W. Bush addressed the nation and stated, “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”
Local veteran and Buckhannon City Councilor Mary Albaugh described her recollection of those moments on 9/11 while she worked in Wesleyan’s Housing Office. “It was one of the most terrifying experiences… Everybody was scared, thinking the world was going to end. And it could’ve, but it wasn’t, thank God.” She continued, “I was angry that it happened. That should have never, ever, ever happened. As a mother, a grandmother, a veteran, and as an American, I will never, ever forget 9/11.”
Albaugh shared her perspective of the American Legion Post 7, as they took time during their Tuesday evening meeting to remember. She described it as solemn and shared what she saw as she watched other local veterans share their memories. “To see their faces and their expressions, you could see their emotions because they served and they protect, just like all our branches,” Albaugh explained.
“I’ll never forget it, for as long as I live. We need to remember it, but not just 9/11. World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, all of those wars were fought to protect our country and our freedom.” Albaugh concluded, “I’m proud to be a veteran. I’m proud to be an American. I love our country; I love all people.”