Remember When: 2001

Thursday, September 12, 2019 | 6:01 AM


In the news this week 18 years ago:

• The front page of The Herald featured students at Sewickley Academy participating in President George W. Bush’s call for a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. The students sang “God Bless America” and Headmaster Hamilton Clark offered a prayer, concluding with the words “…grant us the strength and the wisdom to make decisions that will lead us to justice and eventually to peace.”

• Leetsdale Mayor Michele Maruca organized an impromptu candlelight vigil the day after the Sept. 11 attacks, with council members going door-to-door to inform over 600 households of the event. With only candlelight and lights from the borough’s fire engine, 150 residents joined the Leetsdale fire and police departments, as well as the Rev. Thomas Moog of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the Rev. Walt Pietschmann of Leetsdale United Presbyterian Church, who offered prayers for the victims.

• Staunton Clinic at Sewickley Valley Hospital dispatched several of its mental health professionals to Pittsburgh International Airport in the wake of the tragedy. “We wanted them there in case families of those people who were aboard (United Airlines) Flight 93 were brought into Pittsburgh,” Bob Fisher, administrator of clinical services, said. Fisher was unsure of whether his staff would be called into duty to debrief emergency workers in Somerset County as they did following the crash of domestic USAir Flight 427 in 1994.

• Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky of Beth Samuel Jewish Center organized a non-denominational prayer service the evening of the attacks at P.J. Kaul Park next to the Ambridge post office. The event drew 200 participants. Herald staff writer Chris Wells called the event “an interfaith assembly that recalled unity behind the artificial confines of religion.”

Rabbi Kaminsky wrote in a message published in the Herald, “Although we may wish to forget, we must hold the horrifying images in our minds as long as we live.

Unless we remember with the fullness of our being how terrible war is, none of us can truly hope to be instruments of peace.”