Two men born in the SA are among the thousands of victims whose names were remembered on Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York.
Nicholas Rowe and Craig Gibson were two of the estimated 3,000 people killed when hijackers fell into both towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Rowe, 29, worked for technology company UmeVoice, which provided speech recognition software that is widely used in Wall Street trading floors.
He was in the North Tower – the first to be hit at 8:46 a.m. – and participated in a technology conference in Windows. part of the World restaurant on the 106th floor. According to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune, he was setting up an exhibition.
UmeVoice CEO Adiathia Padala said the newspaper saying he was supposed to help Rowe but lost his keys before arriving at the World Trade Center.
According to the newspaper, Rowe Padala said he shouldn’t worry and take care of the booth.
“He went into the room and made people smile, ”Padala told the newspaper. “It didn’t matter what kind of people they were.”
Rowe’s remains were among the first to be identified and given to his family in South Africa. He was buried three weeks later in the family home overlooking False Bay.
Springs-born Craig Neil Gibson, 37, was in the Marsh & McLennan offices 94th floor, where he was working as an insurance broker when the first plane hit the north tower.
The company lost 295 employees and 63 consultants in the attack.
Gibson, a former Brakpan High School student, moved to Australia before moving to New York with his Australian wife, Danielle, a Unicef employee.
In his obituary in the New York Times, Danielle recalled how obsessed Gibson was with his new boxer puppy, Daisy.
Instead of working, Gibson would “be on the internet , look for pet stores and buy goodies “. for her, ”she told the newspaper.
In a collection of objects related to Gibson that is now in the National Museum of Australia, Danielle said Daisy would sleep on Gibson’s slippers every night “Pulled in with her little nose”. into one of them and your p aws over the top. ”
She was walking with Daisy when the first plane hit, she said in a note from the museum. “At first I thought they might be filming downtown, but when I saw the second plane hit the second tower, I realized they weren’t filming, nor was it an accident.” < / p>
Gibson’s body was never found.
Both men’s names are engraved with those of the other victims on the memorial wall surrounding the towers’ footprint .
US President Joe Biden was due to visit the memorial on Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
He also planned to visit the Pentagon to visit in Arlington. Virginia and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after passengers attempted to regain control of the hijacked aircraft.
The commemoration has become an annual tradition, but Saturday has a special meaning, as it comes 20 years after the morning many consider a turning point in US history, a day that left Americans with a sense of vulnerability that has deeply affected the country’s political life since then.
In With a painful memory of these changes, just a few weeks ago, the US and Allied forces completed a chaotic retreat from the war that the US began in Afghanistan in retaliation for the attacks – which became the longest war in the US history.
Clifford Chanin, executive vice president of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which was built on the site of the World Trade Center attack, said the milestone of two decades would serve as a “moment of great emotions” “for the country to ponder” where we have been and where we are going “.
” Of course we are in the middle of it now Another unimaginable event with the Covid-19 pandemic, but if 9/11 brings us anything about what is happening here and in the other attack sites, it is a message of resilience, ”Chanin told reporters this week.
< The ceremony took place in New York City. instead of September 11th Memorial began with a minute's silence at 8:46 a.m. (2:46 p.m. in SA), the time when the first plane hit.
After that, family members were to recite the names of 2,977 victims, an annual ritual which will take four hours.
At sunset on Saturday, 88 powerful lightbulbs project double beams 6.4 km into the sky to take the shape of fallen towers. This year, buildings across Manhattan, including the Empire State Building and Lincoln Center Plaza, will attend the commemoration by lighting their facades in blue.
The 20 year milestone comes as political leaders and educators worry about the thinning collective memory of that day. Approximately 75 million Americans – nearly a quarter of the US population – have been born since September 11, 2001.
For some, the stormy events in Afghanistan have exacerbated the psychological toll of the day, whether or not the questions US military mission there was in vain.
“I love America and my fellow Americans, but I am ashamed of the way we deal with our exit and my heart breaks for those whose lives have been lost or ours Acts destroyed, “said Wells Noonan, whose brother Robby was in the north tower.
Noonan said she would spend Saturday morning at a ceremony in her hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut to honor 33 people with ties to the New York suburbs who were killed before returning home to be with their family and “remember the days with Robby”.
While many of the big events happening in and around New York City, People across the country h But events are planned to commemorate the deceased and educate the public.
At the Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, an American flag will be deployed on the west side, where an aircraft will enter the building at exactly 9: 37 PM EDT (1337 GMT on the 11th honor the 184 people who were killed there.
In Shanksville, people will gather for the “9/11 Heroes Run” to honor the 40 people killed in the Flight 93 crash in an agricultural field.
Attacks 20 years ago.