Mt. Pleasant will long remember 9/11
The community of Mt. Pleasant will long remember the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when emergency messages were received that an airplane may be coming down in the small, Westmoreland County borough.
“It could have been Mt. Pleasant,” Mt. Pleasant Mayor Gerald Lucia said of United Airlines Flight 93 that flew over the town and crashed in Somerset County at 10:03 that morning. “I think that the community realizes that it could have been devastating — a tragedy that we would never have recuperated from.”
Since that first evening back in 2001, a tribute has been held in the borough every year to honor and remember those who died on that devastating day.
“That plane flew over the town and could have hit Mt. Pleasant,” Mt. Pleasant Council President and veteran Joe Bauer said. “That is something that we still don't even want to think about.”
Ironically, the town was used as an example on the evening news just a few days after the tragedy. News commentators compared the number killed, which was nearly 3,000, to the population of the borough.
The special tribute on Wednesday in Mt. Pleasant will be in honor of the thousands killed in the Twin Towers, at the Pentagon and in the four planes, but also all the brave first responders who gave their lives while trying to save those people.
“We invited area fire departments, first responders and members of local police departments to join the program,” Lucia said. “We will be honoring the first responders who died that day trying to save people. They lost their lives trying to save those people.”
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the gazebo in Veterans Park, rain or shine, the program will feature comments by public officials and special keynote speaker Alan Baumgarner, a longtime Somerset County 911 official.
“We have been really fortunate to have been able to get a lot of really good speakers over the years,” Lucia said of the speakers who have included first responders to the scene in Shanksville and public officials who dealt first hand with the tragedy.
The event has drawn an impressive crowd in the past and has become a tradition for the borough.
“We started having one that first September 11 and have continued it every year and will still continue it yearly as long as there is interest,” Lucia said. “It's a tribute in memory of those who lost their lives and it's something that we really hope to see continue here.”
Bauer, who will act as master of ceremonies for the event, said he hopes the bravery and selflessness shown that morning is something that will never be forgotten.
“We can't forget these people,” Bauer said. “It's important to remember them and to honor them.”
The program is open to everyone; all are welcome.
“I truly feel that 9/11 is something that people of our era will always remember. It was an event that touched everyone in some way and that tragedy will not be forgotten,” Bauer said, adding that many talk of where they were and what they were doing at the time of the crashes, very similar in nature to our ancestors who spoke of where they were when they first heard of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. “I believe 9/11 has become our Pearl Harbor.”
“It's the day that changed America,” Lucia said.
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Hempfield man dies in single-vehicle accident
- Land costs for New Stanton turnpike interchange project reach $4.2M
- 2 Hempfield Area students charged with sexting
- Murrysville woman apologizes for scholarship fund theft
- 2 charged with copper theft from Greensburg house
- Hempfield bicyclist who brought rock, knives into court office charged
- 2 Democrats battle for Hempfield nomination for supervisor
- Jeannette police say 5 people caught trespassing on grounds
- $3.5M glass sculpture’s story begins, ends in rural community of Dunbar
- Donors’ generosity allows Clairview School girls to get fancy for prom