DODGE CITY — People gathered Friday morning at the Liberty Garden in Wright Park to witness the planting of five trees in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.
Over the course of six years, the Liberty Gardens Committee has been planting trees on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Really, we just want to have a place where people can memorialize 9/11 and reflect back on that terrible day and just give a place to give people peace," said public works director Corey Keller.
"One tree donated by Fidelity State Bank, another tree donated by Western Beverage and the other three by Crew Recycling, are planted to represent each plane crash and Operation Enduring Freedom," said Dodge City Regional Airport manager Kelli Enlow, who organized the event with Keller.
The first tree, donated by Western Beverage Inc., was planted at 7:45 a.m. Central time, the same time the first plane, an American Airlines Boeing 767, crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
The second tree, donated by Crew Recycling, was planted at 8:03 a.m., the same time a second Boeing 767, United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
The third tree, donated by Crew Recycling, was planted at 8:45 a.m., the same time another American Airlines flying over Washington, D.C, crashed into the west side of the Pentagon.
The fourth tree, donated by Fidelity State Bank, was planted at 9:10 a.m., the same time the California-bound United Flight 93 from Newark International Airport in New Jersey crashed into a rural field in Pennsylvania.
The fifth tree was planted immediately after the fourth and represents Operation Enduring Freedom, the American-led international effort to eliminate the Taliban influence in Afghanistan and destroy the al-Qaida terrorist network.
The operation started on Oct. 7, 2001, and within two months, the Taliban had been destabilized and removed from power.