Naperville Remembers September 11th, 2001

“The weather on 9-11 was beautiful, everyone who wrote about it in Washington talked about what it was like coming to work that day to the Pentagon, because it was a very special day that was suddenly ruined,” said Pat Shanower, Mother of fallen Commander Dan Shanower.

Pat Shanower remembers the day 15 years ago, that changed our nation’s history, and took her son’s life.

Commander Dan Shanower died in the September 11th attacks at his post in the Pentagon.

Naperville gathered today in his honor and for the other 3,000 lives lost in the attacks as the Exchange Club of Naperville and the City held a ceremony to remember what many have vowed never to forget.

“Freedom isn’t free, as Commander Shanower has famously said, and we need to remember to take these words to heart. Naperville will never forget,” said Mayor of Naperville, Steve Chirico.

Among those at the ceremony were Carolyn Finzer and her husband Melvin, a United Airlines pilot who was one of the lucky ones who made it home that day.

“3,000 died, you know, they will never live their lives. I saw their children this week on news shows, these little babies never knew their dads, so we were fortunate that Mel came home from it,” said Carolyn Finzer.

The Naperville Fire Department and Police Department recognized the loss of first responders that day

And Dr. Thomas Shanower, Dan Shanower’s brother, gave the keynote speech, honoring those who’s full potential was cut short.

“I think this memorial is a great symbol of remembrance and I’d like to be sure we think about ad remember all of the victims of terrorism and their loved ones. For Dan and for all of the victims, what we mourn is the loss of potential and our opportunity to see what they might have become,” said Dr. Shanower.

As for Pat Shanower, she hopes people today will become more like those whose lives were lost and believe in what they stood for.

“That they will be true patriots, they will do something for their community, it doesn’t have to be in politics, but find something you’re passionate about and do something for somebody else,” said Pat Shanower.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.

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