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Pratt remembers 9/11 as a day of sadness, strangeness and loss

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
City of Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer rings the station bell at 8:46 a.m. Friday in memory of the fall of the first of the Twin Towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. [Jennifer Stultz/Pratt Tribune]

The City of Pratt Fire Department, along with local law enforcement, honored those who perished on 9/11 with special tributes throughout the day September 11, 2020 at the fire station in Pratt.

Firefighters Mac Calloway and Doug Ray operated the ladder on fire truck 4 to lift the American flag and various department leaders rang the station bell, followed by a moment of silence for each significant event of that fateful day 19 years ago.

Pratt law enforcement officers took part in each phase of the memorial and community members stopped by to take in the simple, yet meaningful presentations that served as reminders of one of the most remembered days in the history of the United States.

The Pratt Tribune asked several community members out and about on Friday where they were on that fateful 9/11 day and what they remembered most. Their responses follow.

David Kramer, Pratt City Fire Department Chief:

"Oddly enough, that morning I just happened to walk into my office, which at that time was in the Municipal Building and the first plane had just hit. We had a television in there and I, along with others in the building, was just hypnotized by everything going on. I remembered feeling so saddened by all the deaths, and knowing there was many more we didn't even know about at that time yet."

Glenna Borho, Pratt County Commissioner:

"I was working as the office manager at Maydew-Thiebault Optometry (Farmer-Maydew Optometry at that time) and I remember that someone came in and told us there was a plane crash. We had a television set that we turned on and everyone just quit what they were doing and gathered around it. We were watching when the second plane hit. We were just aghast, some were crying, it was very emotional. I remember that evening we all went to Mass, the church was really packed. One of my friends there (she no longer lives in Pratt), but she had a daughter and two sons living in New York City at the time and she couldn't get ahold of any of them. Everybody was really concerned for her and her family, but later, much later, we found out they were okay."

Bright Ibeawuchi, owner of DirectVoltage.com:

"I grew up in Pratt but was living in Pasadena, California at that time. I remember my roommates woke me up because something was going on, and we all just watched it happening. It was really shocking. I'm not sure that kids today who were not yet born understand the gravity of that whole situation."

Misty Beck, PCC Music, Theatre, Public Speaking teacher:

"I was advising the college newspaper on September 11, 2001 and I remember helping the kids through how to cover such horrific events in a school paper in the Midwest. For many years, NYC has held a special place in my heart. I still have a ticket stub from a trip to the top of the World Trade Center on Valentine’s Day 2001. Six months after 9/11, I was privileged to sponsor a trip to NYC with about 15 college students. We worked for the Salvation Army soup kitchen at Ground Zero. We served people who were searching still and we served people who were coming to apply for benefits, check for signs of loved ones etc. Seeing it all up close when you can still smell the smells is something different and it isn’t something I have really ever talked about much. Since then I have had the honor of taking many of our kids to the memorial and to the museum. If you ever go to NYC it is a must. Now more than ever. It is heart wrenching."

Jerry Sanko - PCC IT Director

"We were on the way to Spearville for grandma's funeral when we heard it on the radio. Initially, we heard it was just a small plane that flew into the tower, but then we got there and saw it on the news. During the funeral service the priest updated us on the second plane. I still don't know how he knew what was happening. I remember being worried about gas prices after that, and of course, it was just a very sad day."

Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the attacks at the Pentagon, World Trade Center and aboard Flight 93 when 19 men hijacked four airplanes and flew them into destruction 19 years ago. People continue to die every year because of 9/11-related illnesses.

A timeline of those attacks follows, compiled from the 9/11 Museum and Memorial, the country's principal institution for examining the events and aftermath of the attacks.

7:59 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 takes off from Boston with 11 crew members, 76 passengers and five hijackers aboard. It was originally destined for Los Angeles.

8:15 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 175 takes off from Boston with nine crew members, 51 passengers and five hijackers. It was originally destined for Los Angeles.

8:19 a.m.: Betty Ann Ong, a flight attendant aboard Flight 11 alerts ground personnel that the cockpit is unreachable, a passenger has been stabbed and the plane is being hijacked. The passenger, identified as Daniel M. Lewin, served four years in the Israeli army and a report speculated he may have tried to stop the hijackers. He's likely the first person killed during the attacks.

8:20 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Washington Dulles International Airport with six crew members, 53 passengers and five hijackers on board. It was originally destined for Los Angeles.

8:24 a.m.: Flight 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta accidentally broadcasts a message to air traffic control saying, "We have some planes. Just stay quiet, and you will be okay."

8:37 a.m.: Boston's air traffic control center alerts the U.S. Air Force's Northeast Air Defense Sector, which mobilizes the Air National Guard to follow Flight 11.

8:42 a.m.: United Flight 93 takes off from Newark International Airport with seven crew members, 33 passengers and four hijackers on board. It was originally bound for San Francisco.

8:46 a.m.: Flight 11 crashes into floors 93 through 99 of 1 World Trade Center, known as the North Tower, severing all three emergency stairwells. First responders are dispatched to the scene and an evacuation begins.

8:50 a.m.: President George W. Bush is told what's believed to be a small plane hit the World Trade Center. At the time, Bush was visiting an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, and was told it was likely an accident.

8:52 a.m.: A flight attendant aboard Flight 175 reports to an airline operator that a hijacking is underway.

8:55 a.m.: A Port Authority fire safety employee tells people in 2 World Trade Center, the South Tower, that it is secure and there is no need to evacuate. Those in the process of evacuating are told to use the re-entry doors and elevators to return to their office.

8:59 a.m.: Port Authority Police Department Sergeant Al DeVona orders both towers to be evacuated, followed a minute later by an evacuation order for the entire complex.

9:02 a.m.: A Port Authority fire safety employee announces people may start an orderly evacuation of the South Tower if "conditions warrant on your floor."

9:03 a.m.: Flight 175 crashes into floors 77 through 85 of the South Tower. Two of the three emergency stairwells are rendered impassible.

9:05 a.m.: White House chief of staff Andrew Card informs Bush that the South Tower was hit and this was not an accident. "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack," Card told MSNBC were the words he said to the president.

9:12 a.m.: Renee A. May, a flight attendant aboard Flight 77, calls her mother and says the plane has been hijacked. Her mother then calls American Airlines. Minutes after their call, passenger Barbara Olson calls her husband, Solicitor General Theodore Olson, and tells him hijackers took over the flight. He informs federal officials.

9:37 a.m.: Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon.

9:42 a.m.: The Federal Aviation Administration grounds all flights.

9:58 a.m.: Flight 93 is flying low enough to the ground that Edward P. Felt, a passenger, is able to reach an emergency operator in Pennsylvania.

9:59 a.m.: The South Tower collapses.

10:03 a.m.: Passengers and crew members storm the cockpit of Flight 93. It crashes in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes flying time from Washington, D.C.

10:28 a.m.: The North Tower collapses.

12:16 p.m.: U.S. airspace closes.

8:30 p.m.: Bush addresses the nation from the White House.