Mannix About Manatee: Forget 9/11? Impossible

September 8, 2013 

Providence Community School will dedicate a memorial with 2,977 American flags Tuesday at 8:46 a.m.

Manatee Technical Institute will host a remembrance at the same time Wednesday morning. A "Tribute to Heroes" will be held on Riverwalk 45 minutes later.

Then Lakewood Ranch Main Street will hold a commemoration at 11 a.m.

Undoubtedly there will be other ceremonies around our community to memorialize the somber 12th anniversary of a day that has been seared into America's soul.

Forget 9/11?

Never.

Sure, public attendance at events like the annual Tribute to Heroes has dropped off noticeably since its inception in 2002.

Though the reverential spirit remains as it should, the function itself is no longer what it once was.

No more parade.

No more luncheon.

No more flyover.

Times change and people move on.

It's human nature.

Yet the message remains, regardless.

Forget 9/11?

Impossible.

Memories of that catastrophic day will remain forever, and we are still dealing with its turbulent aftermath.

Eight Manatee County families sacrificed sons to the subsequent war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The anniversary of 9/11 resonates with them in a way we cannot fathom.

That goes even moreso with Garrett Lindgren, who was there and copes to this day with ailments from the massive recovery effort amidst the WTC's devastation.

The retired New York City firefighter will be a special guest at The Providence School, which will have a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower, igniting the cataclysm.

He will also speak at the MTI remembrance for the second consecutive year and afterward represent at the Lakewood Ranch Main Street commemoration along with other retired firefighters.

Lindgren's eloquence and vivid recall will be spellbinding.

Yet one does not have to hear him in order to remember and contemplate this anniversary and its impact on America and Americans.

I can close my eyes and see the metal gravemarker in the Ohio cemetery where Bill Ruth, my best friend since college, is buried.

He perished at the Pentagon.

Forget 9/11?

Never.

Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee County. Call Vin at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix.

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