Valley remembers events of 9/11

AUSTINTOWN — At the foot of an enormous, suspended 100-foot American flag, more than 400 people – including police, firefighters, and medical first responders – gathered this evening at the Austintown 9/11 Memorial Park to remember the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The annual event, now in its 16th year, honors the lives of those lost in the attacks, including first responders from New York’s police, fire and medical communities.

Members from the Ohio State Highway Patrol drum and bugle corps played, and the Austintown Fitch High School concert choir sang a selection of songs – including a rendition of the national anthem to begin the program – throughout the night.

The memorial includes a pair of rusted I-beams recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Center, a pair of polished, black rectangles made to resemble the Twin Towers, an urn containing earth from the site of the Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, Pa., as well as several memorials to fallen officers, firefighters, and a gazebo built to resemble the Pentagon.

Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally was the guest speaker for the evening, and he called the Austintown park “the most beautiful 9/11 memorial in the nation,” before recounting the day of the Sept. 11 attacks and emphasizing the importance of defending the First Amendment.

Anthony Traficanti, a Mahoning County commissioner, also addressed the crowd, recalling the day of the attack and noting the feeling of unity in the country after it.

“Our differences seemed so small then,” he said.

For the complete story, read Tuesday's Vindicator and

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