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West Mifflin Veterans, Community To Remember 9/11

By Mike Mauer
The Tube City Almanac
September 01, 2017
Posted in: Announcements

Above: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid West Mifflin Chaplain Gene Staudt, left, and Commander Jake Bradich display a Flag of Honor in preparation for a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony to be held at Mitchell Paige Memorial Park 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11. 

The event will feature guest speaker Jimmy Young, a firefighter with the McKeesport Fire Department who was on site at the 9/11 aftermath, as well as other local first responders. (Mike Mauer photo)

West Mifflin Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid, first responders and civic leaders will be on hand for a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Mitchell Paige Memorial Park Sept. 11. 

Slated to begin at 6:30 p.m., the event will feature remarks by local officials, music, and a wreath laying in tribute to the more than 3,000 Americans who were killed 16 years ago during the al Qaeda terrorist attacks.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Featured guest speaker at the ceremony will be Jimmy Young, a firefighter with the McKeesport Fire Department who was on site at the 9/11 aftermath. 

Other participants and attendees scheduled to attend include West Mifflin Mayor Chris Kelly, members of West Mifflin Borough Council and the West Mifflin Recreation Committee, firefighters from the Homeville #1 VFC Station 293, the Duquesne Annex VFC Station 294, the West Mifflin #3 VFC Station 295, the Skyview VFC Station 296, representatives from the West Mifflin Police Department, and personnel from the Baldwin EMS Station 510.

“We all remember where we were when the September 11, 2001 tragedy took place," said event organizer and VFW Post 914 member David G. Jackel, a retired senior chief petty officer, who was decorated with the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal during his active military service. "We should never forget the sacrifices made and heroism shown by first responders, military personnel and courageous citizens.”

On Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airliners in a coordinated attack against the American people.

Two of the aircraft were flown into the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City.  Another was deliberately crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a fourth plane --- United Flight 93 --- came down in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in a failed attempt to damage the United States Capitol.  

According to Jackel, remembering the heroic actions of Flight 93 in a battle that took place over the skies of the Mon Valley is a significant part of the experience to local VFW combat veterans.

“Their actions on that plane were truly an inspiration to all of us as we headed overseas,” added Jake Bradich, an Army Iraq War veteran and VFW life member who is VFW Post 914’s commander.  “When my unit deployed, their heroism was what we talked about.”

Also in attendance will be the West Mifflin Area High School Air Force JROTC Honor Guard, and Air Force JROTC program instructor and VFW Post 914 Intrepid Life Member, Maj. Scott R. Harbula.

Both Jackel and Bradich agreed that the events of Sept. 11, 2001 relate a struggle of common citizens coming together to fight terrorism.  Soon after the terrorists gained control of Flight 93, the 33 passengers and some crew members were able to telephone family, friends and authorities to say that the plane had been hijacked. 

Once they learned of the fate of the other three aircraft that were taken over by al Qaeda, the Flight 93 passengers and crew made plans to fight the terrorists and retake the plane.

Although the fight to take back the aircraft failed, the effort saved the Capitol.  At 10:03 a.m. Sept. 11, 2001, Flight 93 crashed approximately 70 miles from Pittsburgh. All aboard were killed.

“We have an obligation to teach the younger generation of what happened on that day to ensure their sacrifices are never forgotten,” Jackel said.

For more information about VFW Post 914 and its activities, contact Bradich at (412) 464-9838.

Originally published September 01, 2017.

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