American Legion will mark 9/11 with event

By ED HOWELL
Posted 8/19/18

The American Legion Woods-Smith Post 9 in Jasper is starting an annual Patriots Day observance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which will be held at the front steps of the Walker County …

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American Legion will mark 9/11 with event

Posted

The American Legion Woods-Smith Post 9 in Jasper is starting an annual Patriots Day observance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which will be held at the front steps of the Walker County Courthouse. 

The free event, which has been planned for several weeks, will be open to the community to participate in. The Sons of the American Legion and the Women's Auxiliary have helped in the planning, while efforts have also been made to coordinate with the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

"We're going to start at 8 a.m. that morning and probably finish about 9:30 p.m.," Post Commander Dalton D. Banks said, although the Bevill State Community College Choir will offer a musical prelude that will begin about 7:50 a.m. 

Jasper Mayor David O'Mary; state Rep. Connie Rowe, R-Jasper; Senate Majority Leaker Greg Reed, R-Jasper; and Walker County Commission Chairman Jerry Bishop will speak at the event. Opening and closing prayers will be included. 

The Jasper United Methodist Church's bell up the street will sounded during the event. 

"We'll have them to do a bell toll and note the events that happened on Sept. 11 17 years ago," Banks said, noting the day will fall on a Tuesday, as it did in 2001. 

"Once we note those events, we will lower the flag at the courthouse at half staff, and then we will have the closing remarks by Chairman Bishop," he said. 

Banks said he is the new commander of the post this year, he said.

"It was my understanding the post had never done anything to note this event in the past," he said. "One of the pillars of the American Legion is Americanism. Based on that philosophy, this is why we decided to do this." He said the event also falls in line with supporting the community and promotes the activities of the American Legion.  

As for whether he feels the Americans are becoming less aware or concerned about the event 17 years later, Banks said, "I think we have gotten the status quo of the history of America sometimes, especially the tragedies that come along with that. We do a lot of things to be proactive with the young people of Walker County, so this is part of our outreach as well." 

The attack involved a coordinated terrorist attack by al-Qaeda by hijacking commercial airline planes in service to crash into the two World Trade Center towers and the Penagon, which were successful.

A fourth plane was to be used on an another attack on a Washington landmark. However, the effort ended with the plane crashing in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers prevented terrorists from carrying out the attack. 

According to CNN, the attack on the north World Trade Center tower at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Time (7:46 Central Time), with the south tower hit at 9:03 a.m. ET and the Pentagon hit at 9:37 a.m. ET. The plane crash in Pennsylvania occurred at 10:03 a.m. ET. The south tower collapsed at 9:59 a.m. ET, while the north tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m. ET. 

CNN recently reported 2,977 people were killed. Another report noted more than 6,000 were injured. CNN quotes the medical examiner's office as saying as of July 2018, 1,642 of the 2,753 World Trade Center victims have had their remains positively identified. 

The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security estimated losses of over $100 billion, although the loss of stock market value pushes the total to over $2 trillion. Property and infrastructure damage was estimated from $10-13 billion. Direct job losses amounted to 83,000, with $17 billion in lost wages. 

Congress in December 2001 designated the day of the attacks to be marked as Patriot Day in the future. 

Anyone wanting more information about the event in Jasper may call American Legion Adjutant James "Jay" Snow at 205-527-7090 or email him at adjutant9@legional.org.