20 years later: Tri-State honors, remembers 9/11 victims

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(WEHT)- There are some days that feel frozen in time. Days that are forever associated with one time and place. For some, it’s December 7th, 1941- when Pearl Harbor was attacked and America was launched into World War Two.

For others, it’s November 22nd, 1963- when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. But for many, it’s September 11th 2001. Pamela Smith-Wright clearly remembers getting ready for work when she overheard Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer discussing something happening at the World Trade Center before seeing the second plane hit the Towers.

Joe Roney says he was already at work when he heard about the attacks, also initially believing they may have been an accident. Roney says he soon realized it was no accident.

20 years later, Smith-Wright, Roney, and plenty of other people across America and the Tri-State are marking the somber anniversary in their own way. Smith-Wright helped organize a freedom walk with community members and JROTC students through the streets of Owensboro, to the Daviess County courthouse Saturday morning.

Similarly, Roney and local officials in Greenville and Muhlenberg County put together several displays and events to honor the anniversary, including honoring each and every victim with almost 3,000 flags- one for each person, including Tri-State native Stacey Peak. Roney says patriotism runs high in Muhlenberg County, where a piece of the World Trade Center stands on the courthouse square.

In Indiana, the Perry Township Fire Department once again hoisted an American flag high above an overpass near the University of Southern Indiana. Firefighters say they just want people to come together in unity, despite the “polarization” going on.

But in the two decades that have passed since that fateful day, how much and what has changed? Smith-Wright says the country still “could always be doing better” in terms of caring for one another, noting we shouldn’t let a tragedy define the country.

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