Twenty years later, Evanston residents, officials gather to remember 9/11 attacks


Madison Smith/Daily Senior Staffer

Uniformed members salute as they honor those fallen in the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago. First responders and residents gathered at Firemen’s Park to commemorate the anniversary Saturday morning.

Max Lubbers, City Editor

Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, it’s become common to ask someone, “Where were you that day?” For a lot of adults, the answer is work. That was true for Mark Shore, too — except his office was located in the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Shore said he was about 50 feet away from his desk when he heard a manager yelling to run and leave. He didn’t know it yet, but a hijacked plane had crashed into the North Tower — and another would soon crash into his building. About 3,000 people would die in the attacks that day.

When he finally got out of the building, Shore said he heard police telling him to not stop or look up. So he stopped, looked up and saw both towers on fire.

“It is 20 years later and it feels like in some ways, we’ve moved on, but yet there’s still an attachment to it,” Shore told the Daily. “9/11 changed my life (and) changed everyone’s life in some way or another. For me, it’s been burned into my memory that this is a part of this world.”

9/11 is fresh in his mind and so many others, Shore said, but it is now becoming history. There’s a generation that can’t recall that day, so he said it’s important to remember and to keep telling the stories of what happened.

Over 100 people gathered in Firemen’s Park Saturday morning to do just that, commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The ceremony featured speeches from Shore, Mayor Daniel Biss and officials from Evanston Fire Department and Evanston Police Department.

Biss started and ended his remarks by thanking first responders, but said people must go beyond being grateful.

“I would ask all of us not only to say thank you and then go home again, but instead to remind ourselves of what that tells us about our duty to one another,” Biss said. “About our role in this unified human fabric, about what we must ourselves do to hold that fabric together.”

That concept of coming together was echoed both by people in the ceremony and in the audience.

Chaplain Evangeline Featherson, who attended the remembrance, said 9/11 is a powerful reminder to care for the people around you.

“We don’t live every day just to live, but to be able to pass some love on, smile for somebody, encourage somebody,” she said. “This is what I want to be here (for), to stand up… and respect the legacy they left.”

EFD rang a bell toward the end of the ceremony for the first responders who lost their lives that day.

Shore said it’s difficult to put all his emotions into words, but he vividly remembers how when he was trying to get out of the building, there were firefighters running in.

“Those are the heroes,” he said. “All of the first responders who showed up were heroes, and they are every single day.”

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Twitter: @maxlubbers

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