Sitting in a classroom? Starting the work day at a factory, school, farm or business? On the morning commute to work? Each of us have a distinct memory of that September morning 15 years ago. That vivid memory creeps into our minds each year around this time. Our lives were forever changed and it’s important we remember what America lost on Sept. 11, 2001. We can also learn lessons about service, sacrifice and faith, which stay with us for years to come.
Seeing the black smoke billowing from the towers and the flocks of people frantically running from ground zero, unrecognizable, covered from head to toe in ash and dust, was not an easy scene to digest. Terror had come to our shores and for many Americans, this was the first time it had knocked on America’s front door.
Nine Hoosier lives were ended on Sept. 11. Four were working in the World Trade Center and five at the Pentagon. They were people who called Indiana home and represented every corner of our state. From Tell City to South Bend and several towns and cities in between, Indiana was directly affected by the terrorist attacks.
As we look back on 9/11 and the impact it had on Indiana communities big and small, the courage displayed by many offers an example for us all. Just 16 hours after the twin towers fell, Indiana rescue teams of emergency personnel and civilians arrived in New York to help in any way they could. Overall, 277 Hoosiers traveled to ground zero and pitched in for the recovery efforts. Doctors, police, firefighters, mental health counselors and more represented the Hoosier values we hold so dearly. They put their lives on hold to help fellow Americans and sent a message that Indiana will always stand up in times of crisis.
The fifteenth anniversary of the attacks falls on a Sunday. It gives us an opportunity to hold hands with family, friends, neighbors and strangers. Through faith, our country continues to heal. I hope you will enjoy the company of your children, parents, brothers and sisters on Sunday. Hold them a little tighter and reflect on the lives lost that day. No matter how many years separate us from the day of the attacks, Hoosiers, along with the rest of the country, will never forget.
As we remember together, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9793 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h74.
State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.
A high-resolution photo of Arnold can be downloaded by clicking here.