MNVM to host 9/11 tribute

Robert Cox

It’s been nearly two decades since a group of terrorists hijacked four planes, crashing two into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the third into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers took down the hijackers.
All told, the coordinated attack against the United States by al-Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001, claimed 2,977 lives and injured more than 25,000 people, making it the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history.
As first responders scrambled to save those they could as the New York towers fell, it also became the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed, respectively.
Friday marks the 19th anniversary of that terrible day, and one Perryville resident wants to make sure it’s not forgotten.
“Back in 2001, when we were attacked and the towers came down, everybody came together,” said Glen Morgan, owner of Perry County Towing. “Now, everybody’s so far apart on different things and I wanted to do something that would help bring us together again.”
When he heard word earlier this year that the annual “Tribute in Light” at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum might be canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic — an event that was later reinstated — it gave him an idea.
The Tribute in Light features twin beams of light that reach up to 4 miles into the sky, comprised of 88 7,000-watt xenon bulbs positioned into two 48-foot squares, echoing the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. Assembled on the roof of the Battery Parking Garage south of the 9/11 Memorial, the installation can be viewed from a 60-mile radius around lower Manhattan.
Morgan’s planned tribute — which will be placed at Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial in Perryville and will run from 8-11 p.m. Friday — won’t be quite that large and will feature a pair of large spotlights that will reach up to 5,000 feet in the air.
“I’m really excited to be able to do this,” said Morgan, who added that some of the flags on site will be replaced with other flags honoring police, firefighters and other emergency personnel. “It’s honoring all the police officers, firefighters and the thousands of people that were murdered and injured that day.”
MNVM event specialist Tracy Moore said the memorial board was excited to have the opportunity to host the event.
“We have a site behind the wall where we hope they can set it up,” Moore said. “That’s where we want to put them, so people driving by on Route AC will be able to see them shining up behind the wall.”
The MNVM site is home to a full-size, exact replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, along with a visitors center, a museum and several other memorials honoring veterans of all branches.
As for Friday’s event, Morgan said he was glad to be in a position to organize the event and give something back to his community.
“I’m not doing this for myself,” Morgan said. “It’s my way of paying tribute.”


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