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Twenty years later

Twenty years ago this Saturday, the people of Gloucester and Mathews counties were glued to their television screens as the news broke that hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon in an act of terror.

The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks left 2,977 people dead and more than 6,000 injured. A total of four airplanes were hijacked by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda. This sparked the U.S.’s 20-year involvement in Afghanistan, the goal being to overthrow the Taliban regime and destroy Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the people of Gloucester and Mathews counties jumped into action and were determined to help in any way they could on that fateful Tuesday.

A Red Cross blood drive attracted 327 people to the Piankatank Ruritan Club in Hudgins. A total of 203 pints were collected to meet emergency need in New York and Washington. Vigils were held at area churches, where people prayed for families ...

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