Community honors first responders on Patriot Day

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It’s hard to believe that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, occurred 17 years ago, preceding the lives of most high school students.

Everyone remembers where they were that day, changing the radio station on the way to work and hearing the same breaking news, watching the television in disbelief and realizing it wasn’t a movie; this was real life.

Almost 3,000 people died on the day that those hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and a random field near Shanksville, Pa. In addition to the astronomical death toll, more than 6,000 were injured by the coordinated attacks launched against the U.S. by terrorist group al-Qaeda.

According to reports, the last words of Todd Beamer, a passenger on the hijacked United Airlines flight who attempted to take control of the aircraft, were, “Are you ready? OK, let’s roll.”

While almost two decades have passed, there are many who won’t forget that day and the lives lost.

Among those are Alison and Mark Korell, owners of AL&M Building Materials in Sealy. The couple hangs a flag of honor in remembrance of those who lost their lives and offers what they call a “modest donation” each year to the fire departments in Sealy and Columbus.

“It just strikes me that our society has moved on in the business of everyday life and the tragedy of 9-11 has been forgotten,” Alison Korell said on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. “Take a moment today to remember the loss but also the firefighters, police officers and first responders.”

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