On a beautiful Tuesday morning in 2001, America experienced its worst tragedy since Pearl Harbor. And on a beautiful Tuesday morning in 2018, Apopka remembers.

On September 11th, 2001, two commercial airliners departed Logan International Airport in Boston bound for Los Angeles. On board each plane were five hijackers from the terrorist group al-Qaeda. The terrorists diverted the planes to New York City and slammed them into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center.

Police officers, firefighters, and first responders ran into the fire and smoke and rubble that the twin towers had become in an attempt to save those left trapped and injured in the buildings.

They ran into the fire, and smoke and rubble…

The attacks killed 2,996 people and injured over 6,000 others. It was the worst attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor and the deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States.

And today, 17 years after that tragedy, the city of Apopka paid tribute to the memory of them all.

Residents, elected officials, and first responders from the Apopka Fire and Police Departments attended the 9/11 memorial event on the lawn of City Hall and used the 9/11 memorial as a backdrop. 

Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson and APD Chief Michael McKinley welcomed the guests, while AFD Chief Chuck Carnesale delivered the closing remarks.

Carnesale described the horrific conditions the firefighters and police officers responded to on that tragic day.

“The four passenger-airliners were hijacked so they could be flown into buildings in suicide attacks. Two of those planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Within two hours, both towers collapsed and the resulting fires caused a partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the WTC complex, as well as major damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon leading to a partial collapse on its western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was targeted at Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. Their efforts undoubtedly saved hundreds if not thousands of lives in Washington DC. It was also the deadliest incident for firefighters in the history of the United States. 343 New York City firefighters including the fire chief, first deputy commissioner, and the department chaplain lost their lives along with eight New York City EMS Paramedics. The New York City Police Department lost 23 officers, and the Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers. Since 9/11, 17 years ago, well over 800 additional first responders have died of 9/11 related illnesses.”




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