Friday, September 12, 2014

TOP STORY >> Remembering Sept. 11

Leader staff writer

It has been 13 years and communities continue to remember and reflect on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In Cabot, city officials, the American Legion Post 71 and Home Depot partnered together to hold a Sept. 11 ceremony.

“We are small-town America. If you look for us on a map, we are only a dot. We know very little about international terrorism and its plots against our country, but we do our part,” American Legion Post 71 Chaplain Sam Hill said.

“Our teachers teach our kids the history of this great land. We send our sons and daughters into the military that stands guard at our very gates. We hold sacred the right to enter a voting booth,” the chaplain continued.

“Our church doors are open and inviting. You can enter without fear. We have our hometown heroes who guard us every night. When you put us together, you have one nation under God,” Hill said.

Lonoke County Judge Doug Erwin said, “On 9/11, no matter what religion, what your origin, we became a family of Americans, which joined together.

“Today we give thanks to all the men and women that serve our country, that keep it safe. We did not allow this attack to ruin our country. As Americans know, from the ashes grow the roses,” Erwin said.

Mayor Bill Cypert said Sept. 11 pulled Americans together. It strengthened the country’s resolve to keep the freedoms we enjoy, he said.

“The United States of America is still the most powerful and greatest country on the planet Earth,” Cypert said.

In Lonoke, a ceremony was held inside the chamber of commerce’s train depot.

Chamber member and JP Bill Ryker said, “We come here to honor, reflect and remember those who gave their lives for liberty on 9/11, 2001, for living without liberty is not living at all.”

Lt. Col. Dawson Brumbelow, with the 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, said, “We are gathering with Americans all over the world to honor the memory of 3,000 people who died and honor the American spirit that prevailed.”

Brumbelow said Sept. 11 is about remembering the past and engaging in a tribute to the lives that were lost.

It is also a celebration of what Americans learned about themselves that day and the days after and how Americans acted with extraordinary heroism, he said.

“My sorrow and anger of the loss of so many was tempered by the awesome response to the tragedy and the resilience of Americans everywhere. It woke us up to the bravery and courage of our nation’s first responders,” Brumbelow said.

“It’s important to continue to pause and reflect on what occurred that day because, as the years pass, the visceral reality of those events will begin to fade,” Brumbelow said.

“Our enemies thought attacking our homeland would divide us with fear. They believed, with an act of cowardly brutal violence, they could end our way of life and the freedom guaranteed in the document residing in the aptly named Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C.,” he continued.

“In the hours and days later, I remember the pride I felt in seeing and hearing the countless acts of heroism and self sacrifice demonstrated by our fellow Americans. It taught me the one way to triumph over terrorism is through the kindness and goodness of the human spirit, by extending a helping hand to those in need and embracing our own individuality and diversity,” Brumbelow said.