The faces and stories behind the words “9/11 victims” often cloak us in sadness, respect and honor.
Sept. 11, 2001 was a day that started off normal for people. Many individuals seemingly walked into work that day and expected to walk out. This would not be the case.
As the phones pierced the air and the chatter of employees swirled through the offices, the “normal chaos” was just a part of another busy day in New York City’s Twin Towers and Arlington County’s Pentagon building.
Sept. 11, 2001 was a day etched in history that represented the worst and best of humanity. As planes were hijacked, then rammed into the Twin Towers and plunged into the Pentagon, the United States was in a collective cloud of disarray and confusion.
Nearly 3,000 lives were lost as a result of the terrorist attacks that changed our world forever. The exact number of deaths is 2, 977, according to the 9/11 Memorial’s website.
Death, destruction, anger, community, healing and forgiveness are feelings that have wrapped themselves around Patriot Day. Fatalities were spread across the nation with the attacks killing people in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. And the death toll has grown since the day of the attack with many survivors eventually contracting lung-related illnesses, PTSD, depression, cancer and other long-term health issues.
Victims of this tragic event come from every walk of life. Our city was directly affected from this day with four people with Las Vegas ties dying during the attacks.
Barbara Edwards was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77. She was 58 years old and a teacher at Palo Verde High School. During that time, she was visiting back East and coming home during that Sept. 11 day when her plane was hijacked and crashed, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Edwards was the only full-time Las Vegas resident who died in the attacks. However, she was traveling with two friends, part-time Las Vegans Darlene “Dee” and Wilson “Bud” Flagg, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Another victim from 9/11 is Army Lt. Col. Karen Wagner.
Wagner grew up in Texas, but she was a 1982 graduate of the ROTC program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. According to the U.S. Army’s website, she was serving as the medical personnel officer in the Office of the Army Surgeon General and Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel in the Pentagon during that day.
According to her memorial page, Wagner loved the “Food Network” and liked to de-stress by taking long runs. She was a great athlete and played guard for UNLV’s lady rebels.
Paul Fenoglio, a math and computer science teacher at Wagner High School (named after Karen) in San Antonio, served in the U.S. Army. Fenoglio said to KSAT-TV, “She died trying to help some people escape the fires at the Pentagon, sacrificing herself for others.”
May we honor these victims, their stories and their families. Read below to learn about the victims.