9/11 Anniversary 2005
September 9-11, 2005
“The spirit of America is the spirit of REBUILDING.” – Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn
On April 20, 2004, an F3 tornado devastated Utica, IL, a small town 90 miles west of Chicago. The twister, one of the deadliest in recent Illinois history, claimed nine residents’ lives, destroyed a quarter of Utica’s downtown area and uprooted many of the town’s beautiful trees. On the 9/11 Anniversary 2005, The New York Says Thank You Foundation which included 15 FDNY firefighters from Manhattan and the Bronx, joined forces with the United Way of Illinois Valley, the Ottawa Lions and other local Clubs, and the Utica fire department, to reconstruct the demolished town.
Together, they constructed two gazebos in Utica and Granville, painted the Utica firehouse, made tornado-related home repairs, landscaped the newly built Utica Village Hall, and restored the little league ball diamond. The town boasted 428 new replanted trees by the end of the restoration – one for every first responder lost in New York City on 9/11 and those lost in the Utica tornado.