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21 years later, Utahns remember lost loved ones and impact of 9/11

Posted at 9:47 PM, Sep 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-11 23:56:47-04

KAYSVILLE, Utah — Sunday marked the 21st anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on the United States.

Nearly 3,000 died in the attacks that targeted the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., as well as the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

Kaysville resident Margaret Wahlstrom lost two relatives on Sep. 11, 2001.

"Mary Alice was the most delightful person you'd ever want to meet. She was always happy and always laughing," she said.

Mary Alice Wahlstrom was Margaret's mother-in-law.

Mary Alice was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that day with Margaret's sister-in-law, Carolyn Beug.

"Carolyn was brilliant and beautiful and very accomplished and very lovable," Margaret said.

That flight was hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists and flown into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

"They were coming home... They had been back to Boston, and Carolyn's twins were going to go to school at the Rhode Island School of Design," Wahlstrom said.

In all, 92 people aboard the plane died, including 11 crew members and 81 passengers.

"My husband turned to me that morning and he said, 'This is just evil, you know? This is just pure evil,'" Wahlstrom said.

Another Utahn, Brady Howell, was at the Pentagon when a plane flew into the building, killing 184 people, including Howell. He was 26 years old and was working with the Chief of Naval Operations at the time.

Retired Utah Army National Guard Col. Craig V. Morgan was just outside of the building when it happened.

"I was going up the stairs to enter the Pentagon," Morgan said. "That's when the plane hit on my left-hand side and they hit around the corner of the building."

Twenty-one years later, Morgan says there are plenty of things that stick with him to this day.

"It was so loud and there was the litter, you know, the paper from the offices," he said.

Morgan also spoke about a lieutenant colonel he saw afterward who was helping people as they came out of the Pentagon. Morgan the lieutenant colonel was tearing up shirts and other materials to use as bandages on some of the victims.

WATCH: Utah elected officials reflect on 9/11

Margaret Wahlstrom worked to get a 9/11 memorial dedicated in Kaysville nine years ago.

"We wanted it to be simple enough that it had the impact we wanted," said Wahlstrom.

Etched on the wall at the memorial are the names of 129 men and women from Utah who fought in the War on Terror, as well as the three Utahns who were killed on 9/11.

"It also represents our youth growing up in this in this atmosphere and trying to make something better," said Wahlstrom.

The youth she referred to include her granddaughter Whitney, who joined her at the memorial on Sunday.

Wahlstrom is hoping to make sure Whitney and others understand the gravity of that day and that they never forget the lives that were lost.

"To make sure that my grandkids not just know that planes went into the World Trade Center, but all of the things that surround that — the 'why's and what came out of it," she said.

Other places across the Beehive State also took the time on Sunday to remember 9/11.

The Healing Field Flag Display in Sandy was set up on Friday.

It contains more than 3,000 U.S. flags honoring the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack, as well as all first responders who died that day trying to rescue others.

The Colonial Flag Foundation has been putting on the display since the first anniversary of 9/11.