Twenty years ago on Sept. 10, 2001, 2,996 people went to sleep not knowing the horrors the next day would bring.
Among them, 246 people went to sleep in preparation for their morning flights, 2,606 people went to sleep in preparation for work in the morning, 343 firefighters went to sleep in preparation for their morning shift, 60 police officers went to sleep in preparation for morning patrol and eight paramedics went to sleep in preparation for the morning shift of saving lives.
None of these saw past 10 a.m. Sept. 11, 2001.
It has been twenty years since the worst terrorist attack on US soil that changed the world forever and forced many of us to enjoy the breaths we take today before we go to sleep in preparation for tomorrow. Since the fateful day we’ve made an effort to kiss the ones we love, snuggle a little tighter, and never take one second of life for granted.
Among the nearly 3,000 souls that lost their lives 20 years ago in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, were 206 Massachusetts residents of all ages, backgrounds and cultures that were cut down far too soon by a senseless act of violence that continues to shock the world.
Over the weekend the historic news footage of the day is just as real, just as horrifying and just as sorrowful as they were 20 years ago.
The images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center, people jumping in desperation from the buildings, the collapse of the towers, smoke rising from the Pentagon and the stories of heroism aboard United Flight 93 will forever be burnt into our collective memory as a nation.
On Saturday, we honored the local residents that lost their lives on Sept. 11 like Jesus Sanchez, 45 and Antonio Jesus Montoya Valdes, 46, of East Boston, James, 67, and Mary Trentini, 65, of Everett, Marianne MacFarlane, 34, Revere, Kathleen Ann Nicosia, 54, Winthrop and Myra Joy Aronson, 50 and Christopher M. Morrison, 34, Charlestown.
They all left behind either children or grandchildren, husbands or wives, parents or grandparents, or friends.
By all accounts the local victims we honor were gentle souls, good people, family men and women and all did not have a punishment coming and were not deserving of their fate.
So today, like every 9-11 anniversary for the past 20 years, we again mourn Jesus, Antonio, James and Mary, Marianne, Kathleen, Myra and Christopher.
We haven’t forgotten and we shall never forget.