9/11 memorial in Austintown draws big crowd, brings some to tears

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A patriotic memorial was held Monday evening at what one speaker called the finest 9-11 Memorial Park in the country.

It’s in Austintown on Raccoon Road, where 300 people gathered to listen to songs and speeches — some even shedding a few tears.

As a large American flag was raised between the ladder trucks of Austintown and Canfield, people talked about what brought them to Austintown’s 9-11 Memorial Park to remember what happened 16 years ago Monday.

“It makes me boiling mad at what happened,” said Pastor Jack Acri of First Federation Church.

The memorial service began with prayer, as people gazed around the park — many focused on the steel beams that were once part of the twin towers that collapsed.

“There’s a lot of dedication and a lot of love that’s gone in here,” said Anthony Traficanti, Mahoning County Commissioner.

The event was filled with uniforms.

There were firemen and policemen remembering the first responders who died. There was the military — both current and former — for those who fought in the wars that followed. Even the boy scouts were there.

Youngstown Mayor John McNally heard about the first plane on the Dan Ryan Show. But when the second plan hit, he knew…

“That our lives in America — and perhaps lives across the globe — would never be the same,” McNally said.

The event was filled with patriotic moments:

The posting of colors ending in stands wrapped in fire hose.

The 21 gun salute.

The playing of taps.

The folding of the flag and the ringing of the fireman’s bell.

One of the most emotional though, was when everyone rose as the Austintown Concert Choir finished “I’m Proud to Be an American.”