Residents Remember Events of 9/11 at Observances
Residents gathered at the Southern Pines police and fire stations Sunday morning for a memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
During the service, Southern Pines Police Chief John Letteney, who was working in New York at the time of the attacks, reflected on just how much has changed in the community because of that day's events.
He commented on the fact that children do not know the ease of life before 9/11 and so many local military families have been directly affected by subsequent military deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq because of the attacks.
"Within a few short hours, the evil we face in this fallen world was a reality," he said.
He also referenced the campaign for homeland security that began after the attacks and stressed the importance of helping to put up a national front to terrorism by working to make sure that local areas are safe.
Letteney urged residents to remain vigilant and to help local emergency service departments by doing their part for "hometown security" in Southern Pines.
The group observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. to mark the moment when the first plane struck the first World Trade Center tower.
The ceremony also included a reading of the names of North Carolina firefighters and police officers who have died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001.
A memorial flame was lit in their honor and Assistant Fire Chief Robert Patterson tolled the fire bell to honor the fallen as well.
In conjunction with the anniversary, the Southern Pines Police Department unveiled its Southern Pines fallen officers memorial, which was dedicated with the opening of the brand new police department building last year.
Family members of the officers were on hand to help unveil the monument, which includes the names of five officers.
The monument reads: "It is not how these officers died that made them heroes. It is how they lived."
More than 50 people attended the events.
The departments have held the ceremony every year since the attacks.
Residents of the Vass area also held a ceremony Sunday afternoon to remember the victims of 9/11 who died in New York, Washington, D.C, and Pennsylvania, as well as American military service personnel who have died in the war against terrorism.
Vass churches were encouraged to ring their bells at the exact times the incidents of Sept. 11 took place, followed by a moment of silence.
Each ring commemorated the crash of American Airlines Flight 11 into the North tower of the World Trade Center, United Airlines Flight 175 into the South tower of the World Trade Center, American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, which went down in a field about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
The ceremony also included recognition of emergency service personnel who worked during the ordeal.
American Legion Post 296 presented a Blue Star Service corporate flag to the town of Vass. The banner was first created in 1917 during World War I.
The town also presented a 9/11 commemorative banner to Cypress Pointe Fire and Rescue.
There were a number of different events during the ceremony, including the placement of a ceremonial wreath to honor past war veterans who are now deceased.
Participating groups include American Legion Posts from Aberdeen (72), Carthage (12), Pinehurst (350) and Vass (296), Vass Boy Scout Troop and Den 810, the Union Pines Junior ROTC, the Vass Police Department and Cypress Pointe Fire and Rescue.
Contact Hannah Sharpe at email@example.com.
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