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Connecticut Responds to 9/11
World Trade Center before 9/11. By Jeffmock (Own work) [GFDL (httpwww.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (httpcreativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (httpcreativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
September 11, 2001 is a day that our country will never forget. It was a perfect Tuesday morning. The sky was blue; the sun was shining. Then tragedy struck.
Terrorists flew airplanes into New York City’s World Trade Center. They flew into two of the center’s skyscrapers. They were the tallest buildings in the world when they were built in 1973. The crashes caused the buildings to collapse. Then a plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. Another plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
The world watched the news with panic and worry. No one understood what had happened. No one knew if people were hurt or had been killed. People in Connecticut were alarmed. Connecticut is right next to New York. Many Connecticut residents work in New York City. Many have relatives who live there.
But people came together like never before. Connecticut’s response was swift. Our governor sent rescue workers to help survivors. Police, firefighters, and EMTs rushed to the scene.
Connecticut State Police Canine Training Unit. From “September 11, 2001: Connecticut Responds and Reflects,” Connecticut Explored, Fall 2011
The Connecticut State Police Canine Training Unit also went to help. Fourteen dog teams worked with New York City firefighters and police. The police dogs carried out difficult and dangerous searches.
State trooper Mark Linhard described the rescue work as “the bucket brigade. There would just be a line of volunteers and firefighters and they would just form a line and they would just start digging.”
Connecticut volunteer fire departments helped, too. The Suffield Volunteer Fire Department set up at St. Paul’s Chapel near the disaster. They gave out food and drinks to rescue workers around the clock. They gave out food every day for eight months.
Connecticut volunteers from the American Red Cross offered aid. Barbara Jeanne Crown from Madison was one of the first on the scene. The Red Cross organized blood drives. The donated blood helped hospitals treat injured people.
Barbara Jean Crown of Madison, Connecticut, Red Cross volunteer. From “September 11, 2001: Connecticut Responds and Reflects,” Connecticut Explored, Fall 2011
Nearly 3,000 people died in the attack. Connecticut lost 153 residents. Our state and our community were deeply hurt and mourned along with the world.
People came together in communities across Connecticut. They comforted each other. They remembered those who had died. They contributed money to help the victims and their families. Later, they planned memorials in their towns.
James Stephenson was a Bridgeport high-school student. He wrote an essay. It prompted the state to make September 11 an official state holiday.
Suffield Fire Department, from “September 11, 2001: Connecticut Responds and Reflects,” Connecticut Explored, Fall 2011
September 11, 2001—known as 9/11—was one of the saddest days in American history. But it was also a day that shows how we come together in times of need. We showed our love of country. We supported each other. Connecticut had an important role in the relief effort. Connecticut brought hope to those who were in desperate need of help.
You can visit the state’s official 9/11 memorial at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.
This essay is based on “September 11, 2001: Connecticut Responds and Reflects,” by Anne Guernsey, Connecticut Explored, Fall 2011.