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U.S. farmers reflect on 9/11

U.S. farmers reflect on 9/11

2018 marks 17 years since the attack in New York City

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

New York City became the center of the world’s attention, 17 years ago today, as high-jacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center buildings.

The inescapable images of smoke billowing from the towers, their eventual collapse and first responders rushing to help will be forever stamped in memories. reached out to members of the American ag community to reflect on where they were as the day unfolded.

“I was at a horse sale in in Keeling, Ky., with a friend of mine,” Phil Trowbridge, a beef producer from Ghent, N.Y., (about two hours away from Ground Zero) and vice-president of the New York Beef Producer’s Association, told today. “I was sitting in front of the barn waiting to sell some horses when the news started to come in.

“Initially we didn’t know what was happening, but it didn’t take long to figure out what was going on. About 40 minutes later, I rented a car and made the 900-mile drive home to my family.”

Other farmers, like Dwight Little, president of the Idaho Grain Producers Association, were busy with harvest and didn’t find out about the situation in New York until later that afternoon.

“I was on my farm cutting grain,” he said. “I didn’t hear the news until two to three hours after it happened, but I was quite saddened when I learned what happened. It was a tragedy for our country and for all the people who lost their lives.

“State borders disappeared that day. We were no longer New Yorkers or Idahoans, we were just all American.”

Don Guinnip, a corn producer from Clark County, Ill., and director with the Illinois Corn Growers Association, also heard about the attacks while preparing for harvest.

“Early September in this part of Illinois, I was working on machinery and combines when someone told me,” he told today. “I remember watching the TV that night trying to get a grasp on what happened in New York.”

And though the attacks took place 17 years ago, everyone still feels their effects, Guinnip said.

“Before Sept. 11, I would go to a (St. Louis) Cardinals (baseball) game, hand someone my ticket and go inside the stadium,” he said. “Now, security checks my wife’s purse and they make me empty my pockets. It’s a new normal that we’ve gotten used to as a society, but these kinds of changes started taking place after the attacks.”

High-jacked airplanes also crashed near the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and near Shankville, Penn. on Sept. 11, 2001.

Nearly 3,000 people died because of the attacks.

grafficx/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo


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