So Close to Home: 20 years later, Parkersburg solemnly remembers 9/11, Mary Lou Hague
PARKERSBURG — Community members and first responders of Wood County banded together in remembrance of 9/11 Saturday at the Bicentennial Park, where Parkersburg unveiled a new memorial inside of Government Square.
The memorial is specifically for 9/11 and officials hope that it will help future generations know and remember how 9/11 affected not only our nation, but also the community, and that all who visit this memorial will be reminded thousands of men and women–first responders, and military members–who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
A unique feature of the memorial is that the steel plate that decorates the top which came from the ruble of the World Trade Center, specifically the tower which Mary Lou Hague, a Parkersburg native was in, during the attack.
“Mayor (Tom) Joyce did a great job putting this together, and I am just so proud to be a part of something so monumental,” Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said.
Martin expressed how unique it is that the monument has a piece of the tower incorporated into it.
“I was working day shift, actually sitting at a red light when I heard it come across the radio,” Martin shared. “I pulled into Fire Station 3 to watch the news, and I kept thinking about my wife at home who was 6 months pregnant at the time with my son, and I was scared to death.”
Martin was not the only one to share what it was like on 9/11. Although she was unable to attend the event, Senator Shelley Moore Capito sent a representative and a letter.
“Our country was forever changed by the deadly attacks on this day in 2001, and I’m sure many of you know exactly where you were on Sept. 11, 2001. I was in Washington, D.C., only nine months into my first term as a congresswoman. I remember it was a beautiful day, and it started off as any other day would. I remember looking out my office window in the Longworth Office Building where I could see the smoke billowing from the Pentagon,” said Capito in the letter.
“I remember watching the scenes depicted on the television, as we frantically tried to process what was happening before our eyes. An entire country frozen in time watching the scenes from this day, listening in utter disbelief to what was transpiring here on our own soil. Lives were cruelly cut short, entire families were changed forever, and everyday heroes stepped forward and saved countless lives.”
Capito said that despite all of that, the memory that sticks with her the most to this day is how the nation responded to those attacks.
“The terrorists who sought to tear us apart instead united us more than ever,” she said. “It was a unity that was found not just in Shanksville, New York City, and Washington, D.C., but it was evident in every single community, in every single state across our United States of America.”
Madeline Scarborough can be reached at email@example.com.
A Heavy Toll
During the memorial event, the courthouse bell was rung by Todd Nonamaker and Tom Kuzcoat each time of an attack.
* 08:46 — For flight 11 that hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
* 09:03 — For flight 175 that hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
* 09:37 — For flight 77 that hit the Pentagon.
* 09:59 — For the collapse of the South Tower.
* 10:03 — For flight 93 that was crashed by passengers on the flight in Somerset County Pennsylvania, stopping it from hitting its target, the U.S. Capitol.
* 10:28 — For the collapse of the North Tower.