El Paso remembers the events of 9/11


Alberto Silva

Rows of American flags were placed on the lawn of the Centennial Plaza as a solemn reminder of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 at The World Trace Center.

Eduardo Flores, Contributor

The United States suffered one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in U.S. history 20 years ago, where nearly 3,000 people were killed. Four planes from commercial airlines were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon, and one crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, people across the country rendered tribute to the lives lost on that tragic day, including the city of El Paso, Texas. 

Over 70 El Paso firefighters played a part in climbing the training tower 22 times at Fire Station 18 dressed in full gear, recreating the 110 floors of the Twin Towers. The El Paso Fire Department held the memorial ceremony on Sep. 11 to remember all the first responders who lost their lives on duty in September 2001.    

“Today, we honor the 343 firefighters, police officers, and other public service agencies who helped render aid that day and gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said El Paso Fire Department Captain Manuel Maldonado in an interview for KFOX.  

Also present at the memorial was El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser.  

“They are out there to protect our city, our country, and that is why we are here to remember the men and women who gave their lives 20 years ago,” he said. 

Each firefighter had a name and a picture of a fallen firefighter from 9/11 on their back during the ceremony.   

Additionally, the El Paso Texas Flags Across America hosted a commemorative ceremony with U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, in attendance.  

“It’s important to reflect on moments like these. Moments when our country was tested, Americans were tested when we were attacked, and we came together to defend the rights and freedom, and this is one of those days for us to remember our strength and our resolve and resilience,” said U.S. Rep. Escobar, D-El Paso in an interview for KVIA-7.  

El Paso Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso also honored the civilians and first responders who lost their lives with a memorial of U.S. flags outside their campuses.   

The University of Texas at El Paso planted 2,996 American flags on the lawn of Centennial Plaza. Meanwhile, the El Paso Community College placed their memorial next to the Enrollment Services Center building at the Valle Verde campus.  

The El Paso Community College also organized a memorial walk called “Freedom Walk” at the Valle Verde campus Sept. 10 where local students and community members came together in remembrance.    

Further, a former student from the University of Texas at El Paso was able to stand in for El Paso at the national level. Virginia Macias was among four Archer Fellows from The Archer Center that participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Sept. 11.  

“We are proud to take part in this time-honored tradition that pays tribute to the sacrifices of America’s service members,” according to a statement released by the Archer Center.  

Over the years, the city of El Paso has maintained the promise to commemorate 9/11 every year to demonstrate their respect to the families of all the victims of the tragic tragedy.