The final wishes of Elizabeth Rakes are carried out as her coffin is taken to it’s grave-site in Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Muncie, IN on a horse-drawn carriage. Rakes friends and family walked behind the carriage on the way to the grave-site. Patti Blake/ The Star Press
At Resthaven Memorial Park on Saturday, the Mercer County Civil Air Patrol and area veterans gathered for a ceremony to honor deceased veterans by placing wreaths on their graves. This is a national event honoring all Veterans. A large crowd gathered with all branches of the military represented and joined keynote speaker Judge Sadler of Mercer County, WV to commemorate these brave solders. There was the playing of taps, and singing of the national anthem and God Bless America. The event ended with airplanes flying by and a wreath was placed on every Veterans gravesite.
A green granite wall marked with an MSU seal and an inscription that honors “the persons who gave their bodies to Michigan State University for the advancement of medical science and the good of their fellow man” is the focal point of the new MSU Memorial Section at East Lawn Memory Gardens in Okemos.
Forest Lawn Cemetery Donates Plot to Fallen Officer
By SCOTT POWELL Ledger Staff Writer email@example.com
A large American flag hung from the Gaffney Fire Department ladder truck Sunday afternoon for a September 11 memorial program at Frederick Memorial Gardens.
Every year Gaffney Police Chief Rick Turner joins Americans nationwide in remembering a terrible day when nearly 3,000 people lost their lives.
The 10-year-anniversary of the World Trade Center collapse, a plane crash into the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 passengers fought back against hijackers have led many Americans to reflect on how the terrorism acts on Sept. 11, 2001, changed their view on the world.
Turner remembers how the heroism of first responders led to a renewed community support for law enforcement. He remembers how local residents helped with the rescue effort at Ground Zero and showed their compassion in the months following the tragic events.
The 26-year veteran Gaffney police officer sees the Sept. 11 anniversary as part of the continuing efforts by Americans to understand why 2,948 people lost their lives in the national tragedy.
“It’s important for us to remember what happened. We made it through the storm. The grief is still there,” Turner said. “These anniversaries are an important time for us to reflect on our memories of the tragedy and what this all means.”
State Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler (R-Gaffney) asked community members to take the time to remember all the sacrifices families have made in the 10 years since September 11. In a statement Sunday, Peeler said the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington set into motion a chain of events that altered the course of the country.
“We’ll never be the same as a nation, and we should always take time to remember the sacrifices made on that day,” Peeler said. “September 11 made everyday Americans stand up and take action. This bravery started with the actions of the men and women on United Flight 93, who stopped the hijackers from killing any more innocent Americans on the ground. This bravery has continued with our soldiers and law enforcement officers fighting around the world to protect our home.”
Ten years after September 11, Turner still remembers how Cherokee County residents shifted their attention from being stunned over the terrorist attacks to coming together as a community to provide assistance in New York City. Trucks were driven by county residents to deliver supplies for rescue workers involved in the Ground Zero effort while other local residents have continued the county’s long tradition of military service.
“There was a dramatic increase in support for law enforcement, firefighters and emergency responders,” Turner said. “This community support is so critical. It’s what gives us the drive and desire to do what we do every day to protect our community.”
Cherokee County Veterans Affairs Officer Todd Humphries noticed the difference in the country’s attitude towards military service immediately following the September 11 events. He served in the U.S. Army from 1993-1998 and spent 2003 on active duty with the South Carolina National Guard in Iraq.
“The military had really been downsized a lot during the late 1990s,” Humphries said. “When our nation was attacked on September 11, it woke the sleeping giant.”
Humphries has watched the military’s focus change from the role of peacekeepers to counterterrorism efforts like clearing roadside bombs at security checkpoints.
“There were a lot of soldiers who had been off active duty who were called back into service. We still have local residents going back and forth to Iraq and Afghanistan every day. Our mission is to always be ready.”
Remembering Sept. 11
Nation set to reflect on tragedy
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Members of the Martinsville Exchange Club have created a Sept. 11 Field of American Flags with the names of the 411 first responders who were killed when they ran toward the World Trade Center in New York after the towers were struck by planes on Sept. 11, 2001. The flag display is at the entrance to Roselawn Burial Park near the corner of Clearview and Liberty streets. It will remain in place until 7:30 tonight. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
NEW YORK (AP) — Ten years on, Americans come together today where the World Trade Center soared, where the Pentagon stands as a fortress once breached, where United Airlines Flight 93 knifed into the earth.
They will gather to pray in cathedrals in our greatest cities and to lay roses before fire stations in our smallest towns, to remember in countless ways the anniversary of the most devastating terrorist attacks since the nation’s founding, and in the process mark the milestone as history itself.
As in earlier observances, bells will toll again to mourn the loss of those killed in the attacks. Americans will lay eyes on new memorials in lower Manhattan, rural Pennsylvania and elsewhere, concrete symbols of the resolve to remember and rebuild.
But much of the weight of this year’s ceremonies lies in what will largely go unspoken — the anniversary’s role in prompting Americans to consider how the attacks changed them and the larger world and the continuing struggle to understand 9/11’s place in the lore of the nation.
“A lot’s going on in the background,” said Ken Foote, author of “Shadowed Ground: America’s Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy,” examining the role that veneration of sites of death and disaster plays in modern life. “These anniversaries are particularly critical in figuring out what story to tell, in figuring out what this all means.
“It forces people to figure out what happened to us,” he said.
On Saturday in rural western Pennsylvania, more than 4,000 people began to tell the story again.
At the dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial near the town of Shanksville, former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden joined the families of the 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93 who fought back against their hijackers.
“The moment America’s democracy was under attack our citizens defied their captors by holding a vote,” Bush said. “The choice they made would cost them their lives.”
The Pennsylvania memorial park is years from completion. But the dedication and a service to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks are critical milestones, said Sally Ware, one of the volunteer “ambassadors” who has worked as a guide at the site since the disaster.
Today, the nation’s focus turns to ceremonies at the Pentagon, just outside Washington, D.C., and in lower Manhattan for the dedication of the national Sept. 11 memorial. President Barack Obama planned to attend ceremonies at all three sites and was scheduled to speak at a service tonight at the Kennedy Center.
The New York ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m., with a moment of silence 16 minutes later — coinciding with the exact time when the first tower of the trade center was struck by a hijacked jet. And then, one by one, the reading of the names of the 2,977 killed on Sept. 11 — in New York, at the Pentagon and in rural Pennsylvania.
They include the names of 37 of Lt. Patrick Lim’s fellow officers from the police department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Lim, assigned to patrol the trade center with an explosives detection dog, rushed in to the north tower after it was hit to help evacuate workers. He and a few others survived despite still being inside a fifth-floor stairwell when the building fell.
In the years since, Lim said he has wrestled with survivor’s guilt, realizing the last of those he’d urged ahead of him were crushed when the tower collapsed. He took shelter in selective memory, visualizing the ground covered with women’s shoes amid the destruction.
“That’s how I got through that, because what was attached to the shoes was a lot worse,” Lim said.
The 10th anniversary has forced Lim to revisit an experience he’s worried too many people have pushed from their minds. But the approach of Sunday’s ceremonies has convinced him of the value of revisiting Sept.11, both for himself and others.
When it happened, talking about the events of that day “wasn’t easy for me. This was very difficult. But it became … a catharsis,” he said. “What I want is for people to remember what happened.”
And so arrives a weekend dedicated to remembrance, with hundreds of ceremonies across the country and around the globe — from a memorial Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York to a ceremony featuring nine-stories-tall replicas of the twin towers on a plaza in Paris.
It’s easy to forget: As much as Sept. 11 was an American tragedy, it had a profound affect far beyond U.S. shores. Many who died were citizens of other countries. And the attacks set in motion a decade of wars, more terrorist attacks in Europe and Asia and a worldwide law enforcement offensive that has netted tens of thousands of suspected terrorists.
Today, for all the magnitude of the attacks, some of the most powerful ceremonies will likely be the smallest and most personal.
In Newtown, Conn., retired American Stock Exchange floor broker Howard Lasher planned a ceremony this morning under the canopy of six maple trees standing alongside his gravel driveway; their trunks are painted to resemble an American flag.
Lasher commissioned the painting in the weeks just after Sept. 11, 2001, as a tribute to nine Amex colleagues and the son of another who died inside the trade center.
“I wanted something that would reach out to people, that people would not forget,” Lasher said of the memorial, which has since become a local landmark. “When people drive by here, I want them to envision what this country has been, for all its greatness, and that we should not forget the people who were lost that day and in all the wars, because they died defending what it represents.”
And in Brown City, Mich. — with a population of about 1,300 and no direct connection to the attacks — firefighters plan to lay 343 roses on a 15,000-pound steel beam salvaged from the World Trade Center, in honor of their New York City brethren who perished in the disaster.
Since venturing to New York in June to claim the beam and bring it home, the Michigan firefighters have finished building a brick plaza, lighted around the clock and crowned by three flagpoles. Already, this has become a local shrine, Chief Jim Groat said.
A few days ago, a couple from St. Joseph, Mich. who happened to be driving through, pulled into the fire station lot when they spotted a sign for the memorial. Groat came out to speak with them and the woman explained that she was a flight attendant for American Airlines who’d been aboard a plane the morning of the attacks.
Then she turned to face the steel beam from the trade center.
“She just stood there and cried. She said she was just honored that somebody still cares,” Groat recalled. The chief observed silently, before offering an invitation.
“Will I see you here on Sept. 11?” he asked.
“I’ll be here,” she answered.