KINGMAN – On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States.
Two of the planes were flown into the towers at the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism. Around 3,000 people were killed and more than 6,000 were injured, including more than 400 police officers and firefighters.
The Kingman Daily Miner sent reporter Bob Leal to Beale Street to find out what people thought of that infamous day 15 years later.
Amelia Wbarra, 70, Bullhead City
“It was a great loss. Something that we’ll never forget. We will always remember that day in history.
“As the years go by you have to explain to your grandchildren what took place. We lived it, and they will only know about it as history,” said Wbarra.
“We have to take more precautions in everything. You can’t trust anybody nowadays. You could be living next to a neighbor who doesn’t think like you.”
Gary Ramsey, 70, Kingman
“It’s actually gotten a lot worse. I’m sorry to see the negative turn it has taken now. Our racism in America now is insane. One side is totally insane. That would be the GOP.
“Let’s just get on and recognize what has happened, give our honors, our respect, and continue on. Quit arguing about this stuff. Because in the long run it doesn’t matter. Your life matters, being happy matters. Constantly arguing and b------- about s--- doesn’t cut the mustard.”
Ramsey said 9/11 brought out racism against people of color.
Nick McKinsey, 42, Kingman
McKinsey said he was in New York when the two planes hit the World Trade Center. He said a lot of people there want to forget the details and just remember their loved ones.
He said he was dating his ex-wife at the time and she wanted him to meet her fireman friend in New York. They went down to her mother and father’s neighborhood fire station and asked about the fireman.
“He hasn’t come back yet,” was the answer, said McKinsey. Her friend knew what that meant. He had died, said McKinsey.
“I think it’s horrific our government would allow people to come in and acquire a pilot’s license without checking their background. I lost a lot of faith in our government,” said McKinsey.
He also said he doesn’t think the American people know the whole truth.
Tim Weahkee, 42, Scottsdale
“I can’t believe it’s been 15 years already. Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday. Every time I look at the flag, every time I see news on the television, it always takes me back to that Tuesday morning. It’s crazy it’s been 15 years,” Weahkee said.
“I was in the Marine Corps right out of high school. When 9/11 happened, it brought back that pride, patriotism. I almost wanted to go back and re-enlist, but I’m too old for that,” he said.
He said he was a flight attendant for six years and 9/11 was never far from his mind when he flew in and out of New York.