Story in pictures — Overland Park 9/11 Memorial marks 20th year since terrorist attacks

Overland Park 9/11 Memorial

A 14-foot steel beam from the World Trade Center in New York City is the centerpiece of the Overland Park 9/11 Memorial, the Kansas City area's largest site dedicated to remembering the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. More than 100 people gathered at the memorial Saturday to mark 20 years since that day. Photos credit Leah Wankum.

On this day 20 years ago, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.

People from across the Kansas City area gathered in Overland Park Saturday morning at the metro’s largest 9/11 memorial to remember the attacks and to honor the lives and memories of those killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

The memorial service took place at the site of the Overland Park 9/11 Memorial at the Overland Park Fire Training Center, 12401 Hemlock St. At least 130 people came out to attend the service.

As in years past, Saturday’s two-hour ceremony followed the timeline of events that day in 2001.

Overland Park firefighters and police officers led the ceremony with a symbolic ringing of a fire bell marking the exact times that planes hit the two towers at the World Trade Center in New York City, rammed into the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and crashed in a field near Shanksville, Penn.

Bells again were tolled to mark the moments when the the twin towers fell.

“As caretakers of this memorial, we have pledged to never forget,” said Capt. Paul Schnichels of the Overland Park Fire Department, who served as the honor guard coordinator for the memorial service. “As we conduct today’s ceremony, please keep in mind the lives lost 20 years ago today and our duty to honor and remember their sacrifice.”

Police officers led a 21-gun salute, and a bagpiper performed “Amazing Grace” as officers laid a bouquet by the panel depicting the names of the 9/11 victims.

Firefighters also laid flowers on each of the panels that describe the timelines of the four airplanes that were hijacked that morning.

Here are some images from the morning ceremony.

The entrances to the memorial are marked by granite flooring from the World Trade Center marked with the words “Honoring Footsteps Gone Silent.”
The names of the nearly 3,000 9/11 victims are listed on a panel at the memorial.
Visitors read the timelines of the four hijacked planes as depicted in the memorial.
Overland Park police officers facilitated the ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial.
Capt. Paul Schnichels of the Overland Park Fire Department led the ceremony. Behind him is an artistic display known as “The Weeping Wall” symbolizing the nation’s tears.
Overland Park firefighters raise the American flag to half-staff to begin the ceremony.
Overland Park police officers lead a 21-gun salute.
A bagpiper plays the hymn “Amazing Grace.”
The centerpiece of the 9/11 memorial is a steel piece from the fallen World Trade Center towers.
Overland Park officers rang the fire bell to mark significant times of Sept. 11, 2001, including the moments when the planes struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
More than 130 people gathered at the ceremony in Overland Park to remember the losses and sacrifices of that day.
Overland Park officers lay flowers beneath the panels depicting the timeline of events on 9/11.