20 years later:  The pain is still real

A large American flag was flown in Tracy on Saturday, along with a display from the Tracy Fire Department to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Photo / Per Peterson

By Per Peterson

The memory of Sept. 11, 2001, is still fresh in Jason Lichty’s mind. It’s a memory that not only has not faded, but one that likely will last with him forever.

Lichty was taking part in Bureau of Criminal Apprehension training in Owatonna on the morning of 9/11. He said BCA agents entered the room to announce to the class of about 50 people that one of the World Trade Center towers had been struck by a plane.

“They released the class to go into an area that was attached to the hotel so we could watch it on the monitors — the whole class was standing there watching the TV monitor when the second plane hit the second tower,” said Lichty, Tracy’s police chief. “It was dead silent in there.”

Lichty also recalls his feelings, and those of his colleagues, after everything had sunk in.

“If they would’ve pulled a bus in front of the hotel to go help, every single one of us would’ve got on and headed to New York,” he said. “And we were all wondering what was going to happen next — was that just the start?”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.