VENICE, Fla. - At ground zero they are opening the 9/11 memorial Thursday. In Venice there is certainly a connection.
The hijackers/pilots of the airliners which crashed into the buildings, Mohammad Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, lived, trained and were frequently seen in the Venice and Nokomis area. The men lived in the area off laurel road in Nokomis, and were familiar faces at places like the Pelican Alley Restaurant and the Venice Public Library. They took some of their flying lessons at the Venice Municipal Airport.
Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty helped the FBI locally after the attacks and says the opening of the museum today hits home even here.
"I think the museum itself is apart of the healing process, “McNulty says. “It's a monument to unfortunately the first responders and the citizens who lost their lives. It's also a reminder to us to never stop being vigilant."