America Remembers 9/11

The 9/11 boatlift under way (social media / Boatlift)

By The Maritime Executive 09-11-2018 10:52:55

On Tuesday, the nation paused to remember the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in Manhattan, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. 

President Donald Trump attended a memorial service in Western Pennsylvania for United Flight 93, which went down in an empty field after its passengers thwarted a hijacking. In a statement signed Tuesday morning, the president commemorated the lives of those who died in the attacks and the many servicemembers who have died since in the global war on terror. Next month will mark the 17th year of U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan, which has claimed the lives of more than 2,200 American soldiers.

"When America is united, no force on Earth can break us apart," Trump wrote. "Our values endure; our people thrive; our Nation prevails; and the memory of our loved ones never fades."

At the Pentagon, servicemembers unfurled an American flag at the site where American Airlines Flight 77 struck on the morning of 9/11. The area hit was the home of the U.S. Navy's Naval Command Center, and 125 were killed on the ground, including 55 servicemembers. All 64 passengers, hijackers and crew aboard the aircraft died in the crash. 

In New York City, after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Coast Guard organized a boatlift that rescued thousands of people from lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the attacks. Five cutters, 12 Coast Guard patrol boats and over 100 civilian vessels carried survivors from the water's edge near Wall Street. Trains and bridges in the area were shut down after the attack, and mariners were a crucial part of the response. 

At Ground Zero in Manhattan, about 1,000 mourners gathered to remember the victims of the attacks. The event included moments of silence at the times of each airplane crash and at the moments the World Trade Center towers fell. As in years past, it also included a reading of the names of all 2983 people who lost their lives that day. 

Across the Hudson, the American Association of Port Authorities and the Apostleship of the Sea held a moment of prayer for the 9/11 victims during its energy and environment seminar, scheduled for September 11 and September 12 at a venue in Jersey City. A short service was delivered by Deacon Paul Rosenblum of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS)-Stella Maris at the start of the event. 

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.