Publishers note: This post was originally published on VISTA Today in September 2016.
On the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that shook our nation to its core, VISTA Today uncovered this gem from the archives of National Public Radio, which profiled Parkesburg two months after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
All Things Considered host Noah Adams visited the Western Chester County borough – population about 3,500, nearly the same number of people who died on 9/11 – to put the loss in perspective.
According to NPR, he met mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, whole generations carrying the legacy of a long-established family name and newcomers drawn by the slow, intimate pace of a true community.
“The Pennsylvania Railroad transformed this former farming community into a town, but it’s still surrounded by farms,” wrote NPR. “Some of those farms are tended by Amish families. But despite its bucolic surroundings, the town is quietly changing.
“Commuters are moving in, undaunted by the 43-mile one-way trip into Philadelphia. New businesses are replacing farming, machining and steel – jobs that drew immigrants generations ago from Ireland, Croatia, Italy.”
Adams found Parkesburg as a town full of diverse stories. Stories of hope and memories, of life going on as usual, seemingly unaffected by the air attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and a third air crash in a Pennsylvania field not far away.
“Parkesburg is a good town for real antiques,” said Adams. “It was a settled community before the Revolutionary War. Treasures remain hidden behind the lace curtains and wavy glass windows.”
Adams also discovered people trying to sort out the horrific events of Sept. 11, and the path life should follow in the aftermath.
Ultimately, Parkesburg, like the rest of the country, Adams concluded, was quietly determined to carry on.
Click here to listen to National Public Radio’s 20 minute segment detailing Noah Adam’s Parkesburg visit in Nov. 2001.