A man pays his respect at the 9/11 Memorial in Freedom Grove to honor the victims who died that day. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Urbana remembers the loss of one of their own on 9/11

Alicia Titus was a United Airlines flight attendant whose plane was hijacked and flown into the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York 17 years ago. Urbana Mayor Bill Bean said gathering at Freedom Grove Park is an important tradition.

“It really hit home here in Urbana and Champaign County because we lost one of our citizens,” Bean said. “We were able to get a beam from the tower and it’s out here in Freedom grove as a memorial to Elisa Titus.”

“We come together once a year on 9/11 to really memorialize what had happened and what happened to our country,” he said.

Bean said he went to college with Titus’ mom and dad and the day their daughter died hit home with him.

“John and Bev Titus are doing great works for bringing peace to our country and our county and I really appreciate what they’re doing in the name of their daughter,” he said. “It’s nice to come out here and remember what transpired. Everybody seems to know where they were on that particular day.”

The Titus’ host a 5K at Urbana University every year for the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund and Scholarship Fund.

He said gathering at the spot once a year also allows younger people who were either not alive or cannot remember the events to realize what a profound impact the attacks had on America.

“We lost approximately 3,000 citizens in the towers,” he said. “We were attacked and we need to remember.”

“Our country came to a standstill at that time. We are here to remember and that’s about all we can do now.”