These were the scenes in Dayton in the moments and days after the September 11 attacks


A stunned Miami Valley reacted to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks the same as others in the country – how do we make sense of the violence, confusion and devastation?

Roads were closed around downtown’s federal building and other public sites. The Dayton International Airport was part of a nationwide shutdown, and pilots were stranded at smaller airports across the region.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was on high alert.

The Dayton Daily News reported senior leaders at the Air Force Material Command were monitoring the readiness of Air Force combat aircraft in a “war room-like battle staff room.” The story noted the last time the battle staff center was activated, as far as was publicly known, was during the global Y2K watch on New Year's Eve in 1999.

>>> RELATED: These 5 local memorials somberly honor 9/11 victims

Construction was halted on the Dayton’s new Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, and non-essential downtown businesses were asked to close for the day.

Rosalinde Rebosky, a mother of four working at the Sassy Upscale boutique in the Salem Mall, told the newspaper, “My first reaction was we have to pray. I have to get everybody to do a good act of contrition.”

“I’ll never forget this day,” Lebanon High School athletic director Dave Brausch said in 2001 as he worked the phone postponing athletics events. “There is a mood of disbelief and there are a lot of unknowns.”

>>> PHOTOS: Scenes around Dayton on Sept. 11, 2001

As the dust began to settle in the following days, the community gathered.

More than 300 Wilberforce University students and faculty members huddled in prayer on the bleachers of the school’s Alumni Multiplex in Wilberforce.

Across U.S. 42, Central State University students gathered for a special convocation titled “Peace in the Midst of the Storm.”

The Rev. John Freeman, director of CSU’s interfaith campus ministry, tried to comfort the students.

“Don’t be discouraged. Joy will come in the morning,” he said. “God will make the way out of no way.”

>>> PHOTOS: Dayton Daily News pages of Sept. 11, 2001

More than 1,000 people, many wearing patriotic colors, gathered along the Great Miami River at RiverScape for a program hosted by WONE-AM radio’s Bucks Braun.

“I’ve got red, white and blue blood and an American heart,” said Dixie Bruggeman of Dayton at the event. “It was time to be a part of something. Today was a way to unite with fellow Americans.”

Too many people were touched by the loss of someone they loved.

The University of Dayton campus was numb as it waited for information about six people with university ties who were missing or confirmed dead. Firefighters at stations across the Miami Valley grieved for their fallen comrades in New York City.

>>> PHOTOS: How the Dayton Daily News covered the 10-year anniversary of 9/11

“It’s like a brother died. It’s hard to describe,” said Springfield Fire Dept. Lt. Dave Aills days after the attack.

In grief, the nation came together.

A Sept. 16, 2001 Dayton Daily News article summed it up this way: “Feeling helpless and threatened by Tuesday’s terrorist assaults, Americans struck back with their most basic resources – blood, sweat and patriotism.”

Firefighters, doctors and American Red Cross volunteers from the area headed to the three attack sites.

Ohio Task Force 1 urban search and rescue boarded a bus for a site in New York City 20 blocks from where the World Trade Center fell.

“Got on a bus, headed for hell,” said spokesman Scott Hall at the time.

Closer to home, local restaurants donated proceeds to a relief fund and donations were made to the ASPCA to care for stranded pets and provide booties for rescue dogs who needed protection while searching through rubble.

More than 400 people lined up one afternoon to donate blood at Dayton’s Community Blood Center.

“I had only two places to go, either here or church,” Steve Pearson told a reporter while waiting in line. “I figure I’d come here first and go to church later.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

State awards Wright State University $538K for virtual-reality job training
State awards Wright State University $538K for virtual-reality job training

Wright State University has won a $538,563 state award to buy virtual-reality equipment for workforce development.  This equipment will help teach everything from anatomy to science and engineering. The Ohio Department of Education approved the funding for the workforce development award that will enable the university to purchase displays that...
Some will get complimentary entries for 2019 & 2020 Air Force Marathons
Some will get complimentary entries for 2019 & 2020 Air Force Marathons

An estimated 500 participants in this year's Air Force Marathon who couldn't finish the race because of the heat will be offered a complimentary entry into either the 2019 or 2020 event, race Director Brandon Hough said in an email to participants Monday. The offer does not apply to participants who dropped out of the event, Hough said in the email...
Dayton Crayons to Classrooms receives $25,000 grant from State Farm
Dayton Crayons to Classrooms receives $25,000 grant from State Farm

Crayons to Classrooms has received a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant to help improve their community. 4.5 million votes by 167,000 people across the country were cast to support their favorite causes, according to a release. As a result, 40 communities in 19 states will get a $25,000 grant from State Farm. Dayton Crayons to Classrooms...
Signs of life in former nightclub space in Harrison Twp.
Signs of life in former nightclub space in Harrison Twp.

A space on Shoup Mill Road near North Main Street in Harrison Twp. may have a new tenant soon. A corporation doing business as “Echelon Ultra Lounge” applied to the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control last week for a full liquor license for the space at 120 Shoup Mill Road. The space formerly held a nightclub called...
Kasich: Ohio’s gun background check system has ‘significant gaps’
Kasich: Ohio’s gun background check system has ‘significant gaps’

Ohio’s system for keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people is riddled with problems, according to a new report released Monday by the Kasich administration. Law enforcement agencies and courts across the state routinely fail to upload data that gets added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System so that people subject...
More Stories