Portland held a 9/11 remembrance ceremony Friday morning at Fort Allen Park to mark the 19th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

The ceremony at the city’s 9/11 memorial in the park was led by city of Portland officials and representatives of the city’s fire and police departments.

The ceremony began at 8:30 a.m. and Portland Fire Chief Keith Gautreau and Police Chief Frank Clark took part in a wreath laying ceremony followed by a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time that the first jetliner hijacked by terrorists was flown into the World Trade Center in New York City.

Nearly 3,000 people died when Al-Qaida terrorists hijacked four airliners. Two were flown into the World Trade Center towers on Manhattan, where the towers fell later that morning due to fires that broke out.

Another was flown into the Pentagon outside Washington and the fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers fought back against the hijackers.

Two of the terrorists, including Mohamed Atta, leader of the plot, drove to Portland the day before the attacks, stayed overnight in a hotel near the Portland International Jetport and then flew from Maine to Boston’s Logan Airport on the day of the attacks. Investigators were never able to say conclusively why the two started their day in Portland, although it’s believed they thought they might be able to avoid airport security in Boston by flying to Logan Airport rather than arriving by car with other hijackers.

Among the victims from Maine were retirees Jackie and Robert Norton of Lubec and Portland lawyer James Roux, who were on hijacked flights; Stephen Ward, a Gorham native who worked in the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York; and Navy Cmdr. Robert Allan Schlegel at the Pentagon.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.