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On 20-year anniversary, peace remains elusive

COVINGTON, Ky. -- With their suddenness, violence, and scope, the horrific events that transpired 20 years ago tomorrow traumatized America.

Even here in Covington, 650 miles from the collapse of the Twin Towers after a coordinated terrorist attack, residents found personal connection to the tragedy beyond just the newly discovered sense of national vulnerability: Some of us knew a victim of the 9-11 attacks. Some of us had friends or family working in the towers or the Pentagon who barely escaped. Many of us suddenly worried about family members who were First Responders or in the military, or who worked at a site deemed critical to the nation’s security or economy.

And – not knowing the extent of the terrorists’ plans and capabilities – Covington police officers and others were sent to guard the Brent Spence Bridge and other infrastructure in the City deemed critical to the nation.

Who and where’s next? Why?

Amid our grief and fury, we drifted off to sleep agonizing over those questions, and we woke with them unanswered.

Two decades later, the answers remain as elusive as the peace and security we still long for. The fear and agony we felt on 9-11 has dulled with time, but at the same time, the newfound sense of national unity discovered that day has vanished.  Deep divisions roil this nation, and on our quest for stability, no doubt we’ve lost ground.

On Sept. 11, 2021 … here at the City of Covington, we want to call a timeout from the discord to:
  • Renew our appreciation for the First Responders in Covington and across the world who continue to take risks for us.
  • Urge our leaders to demonstrate wisdom, prudence, and foresight in addressing international challenges.
  • Encourage all of us to exhibit peace, respect, and compassion in our treatment of each other.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: The late morning edition of The Kentucky Post based in downtown Covington was in the finishing stages of going to press Sept. 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into floors 93-99 of the North Tower.

Editors watching the events on television had time to insert two photos and a “Planes ram Trade Center” headline above the masthead of the Kentucky front page (top left) teasing to a large photo, story, and “Planes ram towers/ terrorism suspected” headline hurriedly established on the front page of The Cincinnati Post, the sister paper around which The Kentucky Post wrapped every day (bottom left).

A couple of hours later, the front page of the day’s third and final edition of The Cincinnati Post (at right) was dominated by coverage of the national tragedy.