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Local business owners inviting you to remember 9/11 and support first responders

Feel Good

IDAHO FALLS – “Nineteen years ago today, our country suffered a senseless attack.”

That’s the opening line of a new video paying tribute to the men and women who responded after two airplanes crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

Paul Davis Restoration and Qal-Tek Associates in Idaho Falls partnered with Porter Pro Media to produce the video remembering “all of those lost, all those in pain and those still serving our great nation.”

Watch it in the video player above.

With a death toll of nearly 3,000, the impact of the attack continues to be felt across the country and here in eastern Idaho.

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Kristi Jensen of Idaho Falls tells one of her relatives was trapped inside a neighboring building when the towers fell.

“She didn’t know how long she was going to be in there and it was very traumatic for her,” Jensen says. “There were several people in there that didn’t make it.”

EastIdNews · 9/11 Tribute Montage

Others who weren’t directly involved can still recall exactly where they were when they heard the news.

Nearly two decades later, Qal-Tek Associates President and CEO Travis Snowder says many people don’t realize how relevant it still is.

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“We became aware of threats around us that we face every day,” Snowder says.

Qal-Tek Associates services, sells and maintains equipment first responders across the country use during bomb threats, chemical attacks, active-shooter situations and a host of other scenarios.

The FBI typically handled these things prior to 9/11, Snowder says.

“After 9/11, we realized this organization could not respond to these events quick enough or to a broad enough scale,” he says.

This allowed the scope of law enforcement’s responsibilities to increase.

“Those things are diffused by (first responders) every day (because) we have better training and better tools,” says Snowder.

Another way 9/11 still resonates, according to Jensen, is the way it brought people together. Jensen remembers people nationwide uniting to lend a helping hand to victims and the outpouring of support to the first responders.

Today’s world of divisiveness created by rising racial tensions, the polarization of political parties and calls in some cities to defund the police lacks proper perspective, Jensen says.

Many people judge police unfairly because they don’t understand what they do, Snowder says, and that only increases the negativity.

“When the moment in time comes that we need them, they’ll be there … whether they feel supported or not,” he says. “These people aren’t mandated to do what they do, it’s a choice. We need to remember how we felt that day and show these people we support them.”

Snowder and Jensen are asking the public to show support for first responders by making a donation to Heroes Defense, a nonprofit that hosts a variety of first responder fundraising events throughout the year.

The organization raised more than $1,000 during a Freedom Shoot in June for the family of Bonneville County Deputy Wyatt Maser, who was struck and killed in May by a fellow deputy responding to help him.

RELATED | Gallery: Photos from fallen deputy Wyatt Maser’s funeral

One of the organization’s most popular fundraisers is the annual 9/11 Fallen Heroes Tribute Memorial Run/Walk and Banquet. More than $100,000 was raised at last year’s event.

Though the event is canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is still collecting donations to be divvied up among the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Foundation, Eastern Idaho F.O.O.L.S., Idaho Falls Fraternal Order of Police, the Domestic Violence & Assault Center and other agencies around the country.

“They risk their lives every day for us and it feels so good to do something for them,” Jensen says.

To donate or learn more, click here.

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.

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