Four years later, memories, priorities of 9/11 vary in wake of natural disasters

It was, conventional wisdom says, the day that changed America forever.

Sept. 11, 2001.

It joined other memorable days seared into the national consciousness — Dec. 7, 1941, and Nov. 22, 1963, to name two.

But as vivid and shocking as the terrorist attacks that downed four jetliners and killed almost 3,000 people in New York’s World Trade Center were, time has a way of blunting a tragedy’s sharp edges.

This process has been quickened by subsequent large-scale devastations like the kind caused by Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean tsunami in December.

Alan Barnard of Port Angeles believes this to be true.

That’s why even now — four years after the attack — he’s doing his best to keep the memory of Sept. 11 as vivid as the day it happened.

“We don’t want to forget,” said Barnard, who spearheaded construction of a monument honoring emergency-response personnel at Francis Park in Port Angeles.

“It would be a tragedy to forget what happened.”

Reacquainting with a crisis

“With something like this, which carries such a huge lesson, we have to artificially reacquaint ourselves with the event and our feelings to it,” Barnard says, “to decrease the chances of something like that happening again.”

Barnard organized a ceremony at noon today at the monument to help rekindle the memory of Sept. 11, while honoring local police, firefighters and emergency response employees.

At 9 a.m. today at the Port Townsend Bell Tower, Port Townsend Fire Chief Mike Mingee will take part in a similar ceremony.

“In the fire service we have a motto: never forgotten,” said Mingee.

“It’s important that as a country we never forget how police and firefighters [in New York City] made those sacrifices.”

More in News

Piper Pettit, project manager for the state Department of Transportation, speaks to the Port Angeles Business Association on Tuesday about upcoming fish passage projects that will significantly impact traffic in the city. (Ken Park/Peninsula Daily News)
Culvert plan in Port Angeles told

Construction expected summer 2023 at earliest

Memorial Day edition to be online only

Help available if needed to set up access

Danny McEnerney.
New Jefferson County Fair manager tells of upgrades

‘Focus on providing ways for people to get a dose of joy’

Port Townsend Paper fined for water quality violations

Power outages among reasons for spill, says general manager

Plan could add 3,000 square feet to Sequim Library

More details expected on Thursday

McDonald Creek, as seen from Old Olympic Highway on Sunday, May 22.
McDonald Creek fish passage project expected to begin this summer

Work to improve fish passage in McDonald Creek has moved a step… Continue reading

A crow makes off with a crab stolen from a gull on the beach at the Port Townsend Boat Haven. Cloudy skies are forecast Tuesday and Wednesday with high temperatures near 60 degrees. A chance of rain returns for Memorial Day weekend. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Crab dinner to go at boat haven

A crow makes off with a crab stolen from a gull on… Continue reading

Washington state’s rate of COVID-19 cases on the rise

The rate of COVID-19 cases is rising in Washington. The… Continue reading

Orca, stuck overnight, finds its way into Strait

Researchers identify whale as 8-year-old male from transient pod

Most Read