Many can remember precisely where they were when they learned of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. It's hard to believe that 20 years have passed since that tragic day. While painful, it's important to remember those we lost and look at our efforts to support the families of victims, first responders, and recovery workers that were impacted that day. In all, 2,747 people died in the attacks to the World Trade Center, including 403 firefighters and police officers, and thousands more were injured. About 100 of those lost were expectant fathers, and more than 3,000 children lost a parent that day. At the Pentagon, 184 lives were lost including that of a three year old. On Flight 93, all 40 passengers and crew lost their lives after they acted and veered the plane away from the U.S Capitol.
In the aftermath of the attacks, the rescue, recovery, and rebuilding of ground zero was an undertaking unlike any other. Approximately 67,000 people from all fields of work came together to support rescue and recovery efforts. As a result, a total of 20 people were rescued by September 12, and 1.8 million tons of rubble were removed in the eight months that followed. During this time, their determination and perseverance were nothing short of heroic and reminds us of the dedication and selflessness of those who serve the public. Today, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, and the Flight 93 National Memorial honor all those affected and teach of the lasting consequences 9/11 had on our lives today.
In the years that followed the attack, family members of victims started the non-profit 9/11 Day of Service to transform a day of grief into one of unity and compassion. The non-profit reminds us of our potential for resiliency and renewal even after an unimaginable tragedy. In honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the non-profit hopes to inspire Americans and others to perform 20 million good deeds. MCAO employees will join this effort and volunteer at St. Vincent DePaul in Mesa on September 11, helping in the kitchen and produce fields. Help commemorate this day and give back to your community by finding a volunteer opportunity near you at americorps.gov/911-day.
Additionally, MCAO prosecutors Reid Pixler and Katie Staab, and Communications Director Jennifer Liewer, who were personally involved during the 9/11 attacks and in the events that followed, have shared their experience in the videos below. We thank them and all others who have served our country for their selfless acts and want to honor them in this way!
This is a difficult time for many in our community. Check-in with your friends and loved ones, and if you or someone you know needs emotional or mental health support, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. It's free, anonymous, and confidential. Maricopa County residents can also reach out to the Arizona Crisis Hotline at 1800-631-1314.
If you are a first responder in need to support, don't hesitate to reach out to Safe Call Now, a confidential and comprehensive 24-hour crisis service for all public safety employees and emergency services personnel.
Arizona native Katie Staab has been a team member of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for the past 11 years, where she currently works as a Deputy County Attorney with the Capital Litigation Bureau. Katie volunteered to share her experience on September 11th, 2001 in Washington D.C. where she worked at the U.S. Capitol.
Reid Pixler has served as a Deputy County Attorney with the Asset Recovery Bureau at MCAO since 2013, specializing in asset forfeiture cases. Pixler’s decades long legal career extends beyond his work at MCAO and to all parts of the globe including working in Iraq after the 9/11 attacks on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of State. Reid Pixler was a one-of-a-kind expert who was tapped to serve in Iraq for two years. His legacy of service encompasses his two sons who both served in Afghanistan and Iraq. His story of dedication to our nation makes MCAO proud to introduce you to our colleague’s story.
At the start of Jennifer Liewer’s career in communications, she worked with the American Red Cross serving communities across the country. Today, as the Communications Director for MCAO, she looks back at the time she helped with the recovery efforts at ground zero after the 9/11 attacks.