With the campus flags at half-mast, Palo Verde College (PVC) leadership, faculty and staff gathered for a solemn morning remembrance ceremony in observance of 9/11 on Sept. 9.

“We’ve gathered here today in remembrance and honor of 9/11,” shared PVC Manager of Student Life and Development Staci Lee, who led the ceremony. “On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 terrorists – who were members of Al-Qaeda, an Islamist extremist network – hijacked four commercial airliners in a coordinated attack. The hijackers intentionally flew two of the planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center; and a third into the Pentagon. Learning of the other hijackings, passengers and crew members on the fourth plane launched a counter-attack – spurring the hijacker pilot to crash the plane into a field in Pennsylvania.”

This year marks two decades since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the nation in 2001, which took 2,977 lives.

Earlier this month, on Sept. 7, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) announced two new identifications of victims’ remains through DNA analysis – Dorothy Morgan (of Hempstead, New York), and a man whose name was withheld at the family’s request.

As noted by the New York OCME, some 1,106 victims (or 40%) who perished in the World Trade Center attacks remain unidentified.

“Within hours of the attack, millions of people across the world felt compelled to respond to the crisis. Volunteers and trained professionals from near and far rushed to help in rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93 sites. At 8:46 (a.m.), Flight 11 crashed into floors 93 through 99 on the north tower. At 9:03, Flight 175 crashed into the floors 77 through 85 of the south tower. At 9:37, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. The crash and fire killed 59 on the plane, and 125 on the ground. At 9:42, the FFA grounded all flights. At 9:59, the south tower collapsed in 10 seconds after burning for 56 minutes – more than 800 people in and around the building are killed. At 10:03, United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near Pennsylvania after passengers and crew stormed the cockpit. Forty people onboard, excluding the hijackers, perished. At 10:15, the Pentagon’s outer ring collapses. At 10:28, the north tower collapses after burning for 102 minutes – more than 1,600 in and around the building are killed.”

Hundreds of first responders have suffered and died from illnesses related to the ground zero rescue efforts at the World Trade Center site – and continue to do so.

In 2019, legislation passed the Senate (97-2) in Washington D.C. to reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund – which provides healthcare funding for the first responders of the attacks who’ve suffered from exposure to the aftermath of Ground Zero – through the year 2092.

“Today, please remember to hug your loved ones’ tight. Remember to say ‘I love you’ to those and, one thing to remember – there’s no time for hate,” noted Lee, who also thanked attending veterans for their service.

PVC provided flags and refreshments at the campus Veterans Center to attendees.

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