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Saugus remembers its “9/11” victims on 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America

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Nearly 22 years have passed since American Airlines Flight 11 – one of four commercial airliners hijacked that day – became the first to hit its target, crashing into the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan.

A monument on the Hamilton Street side of Saugus Town Hall forever links the community to the national tragedy of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which claimed close to 3,000 lives that day. Two former Saugus residents were among the victims who were killed 22 years ago Monday (Sept. 11) in the event also known as 9/11. The monument, which is inscribed with the date and “God Bless America” pays tribute to Gertrude “Trudi” Alagero and David DiMeglio, who were among the victims in New York City during the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center Towers.

KILLED AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER: Gertrude M. “Trudi” Alagero, 37, a 1982 Saugus High School graduate, was a senior vice president and practice leader for Marsh Private Client Services, a division of Marsh & McLennan. Alagero was working out of an office on the 94th floor of the North Tower at World Trade Center (also known as Tower 1). At 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the northern facade of the North Tower. Marsh & McLennan had more than 800 working on floors 93 through 100 – the part of the building that was in the flight path of the first hijacked airliner to crash into the World Trade Center Towers. More than 350 Marsh & McLennan workers – including Alagero – perished in the attack.

KILLED IN PLANE CRASH: David DiMeglio, a former Saugus resident, then 22, was living in Wakefield and was among the 81 passengers on American Flight 11 that was commandeered by five al-Qaida terrorists and flown into the World Trade Center’s North Tower shortly before 9 a.m. on Sept. 11. He was headed west to help his mother move. He had completed computer school and had planned to start a business in computer services.

A small group of town leaders and citizens are expected to gather for a low key observance at the town’s Central Fire Station at 8:46 a.m. on Monday (Sept. 11) – the same time that fire departments across the nation will mark the significance of a sad day in American history – when Alagero and DiMeglio were among those who perished at the World Trade Center.

THE DEATH TOLL: The actual number of people who died in the terrorist attacks involving four hijacked jets might never be known. But officials estimate close to 3,000. They say 2,753 people – including 343 firefighters – died at the World Trade Center. United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower 16 minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. Another 184 were killed when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. And 40 people perished when passengers on board United Airlines Flight 93 fought to take control of the jet that was headed toward the capital, forcing hijackers to crash it in a field outside Shanksville, Pa.

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