‘WE WILL NOT FOR­GET’

For many, wounds are still fresh18 years af­ter na­tion’s dark­est day

The Day - - FRONT PAGE - By KAREN MATTHEWS and JEN­NIFER PELTZ

New York — Peo­ple who were too young on 9/11 to even re­mem­ber their lost loved ones, and oth­ers for whom the grief is still raw, paid trib­ute with wreath-lay­ings and the solemn roll call of the dead Wed­nes­day as Amer­ica marked the 18th an­niver­sary of the worst ter­ror at­tack on U.S. soil.

“Eigh­teen years. We will not for­get. We can­not for­get,” Bud Sal­ter, who lost his sister, Catherine, said at ground zero.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump laid a wreath at the Pen­tagon, telling vic­tims’ rel­a­tives: “This is your an­niver­sary of per­sonal and per­ma­nent loss.”

“It’s the day that has re­played in your mem­ory a thou­sand times over. The last kiss. The last phone call. The last time hear­ing those pre­cious words, ‘I love you,’” the pres­i­dent said.

Later, for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, who was in of­fice on 9/11, and then-De­fense Sec­re­tary Don­ald Rums­feld at­tended an­other wreath-lay­ing at the Pen­tagon.

Near Shanksvill­e, Pa., the third site where planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence cred­ited the crew and pas­sen­gers who fought back against the hi­jack­ers with protecting him and oth­ers in the U.S. Capi­tol that day.

“I will al­ways be­lieve that I and many oth­ers in our na­tion’s cap­i­tal were able to go home that day and hug our fam­i­lies be­cause of the courage and self­less­ness of your fam­i­lies,” said Pence, who was an In­di­ana con­gress­man at the time. Of­fi­cials con­cluded the at­tack­ers had been aim­ing the plane to­ward Wash­ing­ton.

Nearly 3,000 peo­ple were killed when ter­ror­ist-pi­loted planes slammed into the World Trade Cen­ter, the Pen­tagon and the field in Pennsylvan­ia.

Af­ter read­ing part of the long list of names, Par­boti Parbhu choked up as she spoke from the ground zero podium about her slain sister, Har­dai. Even af­ter nearly two decades, “there’s no easy way to say good­bye,” she said.

By now, the her­itage of grief has been handed down to a new gen­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing chil­dren and young adults who knew their lost rel­a­tives barely or not at all.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing grow­ing up in a gen­er­a­tion that doesn’t re­ally re­mem­ber it. I feel a con­nec­tion that no one I go to school with can re­ally un­der­stand.” JACOB CAMP­BELL, WHO WAS 10 MONTHS OLD WHEN HIS MOTHER DIED ON 9/11

Jacob Camp­bell was 10 months old when his mother, Jill Mau­rer-Camp­bell, died on 9/11.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing grow­ing up in a gen­er­a­tion that doesn’t re­ally re­mem­ber it. I feel a con­nec­tion that no one I go to school with can re­ally un­der­stand,” Camp­bell, a Univer­sity of Michi­gan sopho­more, said as he at­tended the cer­e­mony.

Like the fam­i­lies, the na­tion is still grap­pling with the af­ter­math of Sept. 11. The ef­fects are vis­i­ble from air­port se­cu­rity check­points to Afghanista­n, where the post-9/11 U.S. in­va­sion has be­come Amer­ica’s long­est war. The aim was to dis­lodge Afghanista­n’s then-rul­ing Tal­iban for har­bor­ing al-Qaida leader and Sept. 11 mas­ter­mind Osama bin Laden.

Ear­lier this week, Trump called off a secret meet­ing at Camp David with Tal­iban and Afghan govern­ment lead­ers and de­clared the peace talks “dead.” As the Sept. 11 an­niver­sary be­gan in Afghanista­n, a rocket ex­ploded at the U.S. Em­bassy just af­ter midnight, with no in­juries re­ported.

Al-Qaida’s current leader used the an­niver­sary to call for more at­tacks on the U.S. and other tar­gets.

In New York, Nicholas Haros Jr., who lost his mother, Frances, re­minded the au­di­ence of the al-Qaida at­tack­ers and tore into Democratic Rep. Il­han Omar of Min­nesota over her re­cent “Some peo­ple did some­thing” ref­er­ence to 9/11.

“Our con­sti­tu­tional freedoms were at­tacked, and our na­tion’s found­ing on Judeo-Chris­tian val­ues was at­tacked. That’s what ‘some peo­ple’ did. Got that now?” he said to ap­plause.

Omar, one of the first Mus­lim women elected to Congress, has said she didn’t in­tend to min­i­mize what happened on Sept. 11, and ac­cused crit­ics of tak­ing her words out of con­text. She tweeted Wed­nes­day that “Septem­ber 11th was an at­tack on all of us.”

The dead in­cluded Mus­lims, as Za­heda Rah­man un­der­scored af­ter read­ing names at ground zero. She called her un­cle, Abul Chowd­hury, a “proud Mus­lim-Amer­i­can man who lived his life with a care­free na­ture, a zeal for ad­ven­ture and a tenac­ity which I em­u­late ev­ery sin­gle day.”

Oth­ers made a point of spot­light­ing the suf­fer­ing of fire­fight­ers, po­lice and oth­ers who died or fell ill af­ter be­ing ex­posed to the smoke and dust at ground zero.

A com­pen­sa­tion fund for peo­ple with po­ten­tially Sept. 11-re­lated health prob­lems has paid out more than $5.5 bil­lion so far. More than 51,000 peo­ple have applied. Over the sum­mer, Congress made sure the fund won’t run dry. The sick also gained new recog­ni­tion this year at the World Trade Cen­ter site, where a me­mo­rial glade was ded­i­cated this spring.

GENE J. PUSKAR/AP PHOTO

Vis­i­tors to the Flight 93 Na­tional Me­mo­rial in Shanksvill­e, Pa., par­tic­i­pate in a sun­set me­mo­rial ser­vice on Tues­day as the na­tion pre­pared to mark the 18th an­niver­sary of the Sept. 11, 2001, at­tacks. RE­MEM­BER­ING SEPT. 11, 2001

SEAN D. ELLIOT/THE DAY

Left, Navy Chief Petty Of­fi­cers­e­lects Travis Moroz, left, and Noah Hill salute af­ter plac­ing a piece of a U.S. flag be­ing re­tired into the fire as Petty Officer Chase Peo­ples, back right, plays taps at a 9/11 com­mem­o­ra­tion and flag re­tire­ment cer­e­mony Wed­nes­day at the His­toric Ship Nau­tilus in Gro­ton.

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