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    Martin Price honors the heroes and remembers the victims of Sept. 11, 2001 on the window of his ice cream shop, Martin’s Sweet Shop in downtown Navasota, with a tribute every year. Examiner photo by Matthew Ybarra

On Sept. 11, 2001, the Earth stood still for Americans as 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group Al Qadea hijacked four airplanes carrying out suicide attacks on the United States from within, making it a day American’s will NEVER FORGET!

The first of the planes, an American Airline Boeing 767, loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York. A gaping hole was left in the eighth floor of the skyscraper that stood 110 stories tall and killed hundreds instantly.

Any thoughts the crash was simply an accident were quickly erased as a second plane struck the south tower of the World Trade Center near the 60th floor, 18 minutes after the initial crash.

A third plane circled downtown Washington D.C. then crashed into the west side of the United States Pentagon, the military headquarters, at 9:45 a.m.

Thanks to the heroics of brave passengers on the fourth plane, United Flight 93, the final attack could not be carried out by the Islamic Terrorists that were funded by the Al Qaeda terrorist organization of Saudi Arabia fugitive Osama bin Laden. Passengers aboard the plane learned of the attacks and brought the plane down themselves in a rural field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The destination of that attack planned for that plane is unknown, but those brave passengers saved many American lives.

At the World Trade Center 2,763 people died including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City Police Officers and 37 Port Authority Police Officers. At the Pentagon 189 people were killed including 64 on American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that jet that struck the building. On Flight 93, 44 people died when the plane was brought down in Pennsylvania.

Each year Martin Price, owner of Martin’s Sweet Shop in downtown Navasota, honors the victims and heroes of that tragic day with a window display. “I hate that day. I know that I shouldn’t use the word hate but I lost three buddies in those attacks,” said an emotional Price.

Price is a retired New York City Firefighter and was retired at the time of the attack. He was unable to assist with the rescue at the World Trade Center, but he returned to help man his former fire station in New York. “It’s heartbreaking and I can’t even speak about it,” Price said when asked about that day.” I dedicate a window every year to honor and remember those who lost their lives.”

Price lost his wife three years after the attacks, and although it can’t be proved, he believes the Sept. 11, attacks contributed to her death. Price’s wife worked in an FBI center near the World Trade Center the day of the attacks.

Price said his tribute each year differs, but he will NEVER FORGET them and will keep honoring the victims of that dark day when America was attacked.