It’s been 16 years since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The stories of that day, and our reactions to it, have since formed a core part of the American experience.
We’ve shared a number of those stories and reactions over the years. Here are a few:
In the hours after the hijacking and crashing of airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, all commercial flights across the country were grounded.
Four members of the North Dakota Air National Guard's Fargo-based 119th Wing--the Happy Hooligans--were called upon to patrol the skies over Washington D.C. and ferry some important passengers. Three of them spoke about their experiences with reporters in 2011.
“The Pentagon was struck at some point as he (Col. Rick Gibney) headed toward Montana,” Roepke wrote in 2011. “When he arrived, so much was still unknown. Gibney said it was thought that up to 21 airplanes may be hijacked. ‘In my mind, there was a very dire situation happening in the nation,’ Gibney said. Read the rest here.
A few North Dakotans had family members who died in the 9/11 attacks. Forum reporter Dave Olson spoke with a few of them on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Jenette Nelson’s daughter, Ann, was one of the victims. Jenette wrote a poem directed at the planners of attacks as a way to find some meaning. “After writing the poem, Nelson said her anger evaporated and has never returned”
"I see this world as a totality, where many individuals should be living together as brothers and sisters,’ Nelson said. ‘This hate and violence is something we have to put an end to because my grandchildren will be dealing with these kinds of things if we don't.’ Read the rest here.
Parents who had children on Sept. 11, 2001 face a dilemma. It’s a day of celebration for their families, but it also carries the same memories of shock and horror that the rest of us have. The Forum spoke with a couple of these families back in 2008.
“Babies born on 9/11 inherited a legacy they will carry throughout their lives. They offered glimmers of hope to a nation shaken by tragedy. Yet, the joy of their births will always be linked with collective sorrow.”
"’It was such a horrible day for so many people,’" said one dad. ‘But it was the best day of our lives.’" Read the rest here.
The events of 9/11 might live vividly in grown-up memories, but many kids are too young to remember them. This was a concern for some area teachers voiced in interviews last year. They’re worried that kids aren’t learning vital facts about a day that carries wide social, political and historical impact.
"I know it happened, but I was born after 9/11, so sometimes I feel like it doesn't really affect me, but it does in some ways," one student said. "Sometimes it's hard to believe and understand what truly went on." Read the rest here.
In 2005, two churches opened their doors for the first time on Sept. 11.
"I don't think there's any better time to reinvent a day with hope than Sept. 11," said the Rev. Corey Fuhrman, pastor of Living Waters Lutheran Church.
"One of the wonderful themes of Christianity is the idea of resurrection, that God comes where death has occurred and brings new life," said Rev. Vern Baardson of Triumph West Lutheran Brethren Church. Read the rest here.