Dozens of communities across Chicagoland are remembering 9-11 in their own way today. But for a handful of people in, the anniversary of this day evokes memories of a painful firsthand experience.
Evanston firefighters and residents who gathered at Firemen’s Park to honor those lives lost during 9-11.
9-11 survivor and Evanston resident, Mark Shore, was one of those who decided to mark the occasion by attending the ceremony. 13 years ago, he was working inside the World Trade Center on the 62nd floor.
“The worst moment for me was going down the stairs and we were stuck in the stairwell,” Shore said. “The ceiling of the lobby was about to collapse. We were stuck in there. Smoke was starting to come in and more people were piling down the stairs.”
There were similar memories for Don Basco of Dyer, Indiana, who shared his story to the Union League Club of Chicago. This businessman was on a week-long trip to New York when he found himself trying to escape from the 57th floor of the North Tower.
He spoke of an “image of a woman and then a man coming down the stairs, hands in front of them, wanting no one to touch them. They were severely burned. Smells of jet fuel. Why was I smelling jet fuel?”
And during today’s graduation ceremony for Chicago’s newest firefighters, a moment was dedicated to their fellow New York City firefighters who died trying to save others.
In Naperville, residents gather at the Commander Dan Shanower Memorial. Shanower was a Naperville native and one of 2,996 people killed during terrorist attacks on 9/11. He was in the Pentagon.
Brian Hastings, is one of hundreds of New York City emergency responders who helped with search and recovery operations at Ground Zero. He spoke at tonight’s annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Naperville about his 10 month task.
“By having these dedications and by having these memorials, it gives the opportunity to keep the story alive and keep the memories alive,” he said.
Just today, Hastings presented Carol Stream firefighters with its own piece of steel from the Ground Zero to be included in a memorial there, much like the one in Naperville.