Tuesday, September 26, 2023



A smattering of people sat through a drizzle Sept. 11 at the Wildlife West Park in Edgewood as a carrying case of white doves left their roost and took off for the sky.

It has been a national event since the 10th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C., and a western Pennsylvania, with doves released simultaneously at sites across the country.

As the doves circled overhead, Col. John Brault (retired) discussed what the day means to him as he was in the Pentagon on the day it was attacked.

“Hopefully there are enough people here that remember 9/11,” he said. “I was lucky enough, somebody was watching over me. The plane actually went into an area called the C Wing. I was four doors away in C Wing and had just finished talking with some of the people who went in to a staff meeting in that room and never came back out of it.”

More than 3,000 people died on that day, and at least that many have died since from injuries and illnesses related to the attacks, Brault said.

But as the day continues to recede into the past, it has been losing its importance to the American public, he said.

“It is unfortunate that society today doesn’t teach the younger generation about 9/11 and they don’t understand it and there are some many people that don’t even want to remember it,” Brault said. “Our world is changing and I’m not sure it is for the better.”

Brault wore the internal scars of that for quite some afterward.

“My wife will tell you that I crawled into myself for about two years with PTSD,” he said. “But I pulled myself out of it. I didn’t use and drugs, just sheer guts and pulled myself out of it. But it was pretty rough.”

He has been part of the dove release at the park since its inception a number of years ago and plans to continue to participate in the future.

“I’m going to keep doing this for every 9/11 that I can from now on,” Brault said. “For as long as I can.”


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