Steel beams from the World Trade Center, pictured here on a recent Saturday, await placement in a memorial outside the Clyde Volunteer Fire Department. The memorial was unveiled on Sept. 11, on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that collapsed the buildings. “The memorial has been a very large undertaking, but so worth it for everybody,” said Michelle Silver, office manager and volunteer fire fighter at the station. Photo by Angie Newsome. Click to view full-size image.

This past week has been one filled with stories about how the events of Sept. 11, 2001, have changed our lives, our communities, our language, our politics.

Across the region, videos and news reports detailed how Western North Carolina residents suffered and recovered from the attacks, how we went to help those most hurt, how we have spent the past decade recovering and working to strengthen or change our communities.

Memorials, physical and emotional, were unveiled.

In Clyde, office manager and volunteer fire fighter Michelle Silver said recently that the Clyde Volunteer Fire Department’s memorial, made public on Sept. 11, would give visitors a place to come and reflect. The steel beams the station received for its memorial is one set of artifacts from the attacks to come to the region. The Brevard Fire Department has erected and unveiled a memorial, too. All told, Silver said, about 1,041 artifacts from the World Trade Center have gone to 14 countries.

“This was just something for all of us because we’re all dedicated,” she said a week ago, before a memorial bike ride organized by the station to raise money for the memorial. “It just brings a piece here. It brings the community together.”

Across the region, there are similar stories. Towns and counties, from Asheville, Brevard, Hendersonville and Tryon to Henderson and Polk counties, held events.

To listen to our response to the attacks, we at Carolina Public Press compiled reporting from around the region, a collection of how our lives changed that September day, 10 years ago, and how we continue to feel the affects of that day in our lives.

Residents reflect on how the decade has changed their lives and faith

WNC people who witnessed the attacks share their stories

Students, teachers and government agencies change how they learn, teach and operate

Firefighters and volunteers sought to help, both then and now

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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