‘Citizens Remembering 9/11’ held at courthouse

Conservatives Of: Washington County hosted ‘Citizens Remembering 9/11’ on Monday, commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at New York City and beyond. Dozens attended the ceremony, which featured speakers and various performers. From left, Luke Alix, Dennis Cooper (playing ‘Taps’ on harmonica), Sean Alix, and, lower right, Sydney Alix. Photo by Philip A. Janquart
Philip A. Janquart
The Conservatives Of: Washington County held its “Citizens Remembering 9/11” ceremony on Monday, Sept. 11 in commemoration of the terror attacks that occurred on American soil 22 years ago.
 It was early that morning, on Sept. 11, 2001, that terrorists with the extremist Islamic group Al-Qaeda flew airliners into the World Trade Center, one for each Twin Tower, in New York City.  
 The buildings would ultimately collapse, causing the deaths of thousands of office workers and hundreds of first responders attempting to save them.
 Another plane hit the Pentagon, located in Arlington, Va., killing 184 people and yet another, United Airlines flight 93, went down near Shanksville, Penn., killing 40.
 Dozens of area residents showed for Monday’s event, which took place in front of the county courthouse, with Cornerstone Assembly of God Pastor, former military service member and law enforcement officer, Mark Burgess, opening the ceremony with an introduction and prayer.
 “Today, we pause to honor the lives that were lost that day, the heroism of police, fire, EMTs, and ordinary citizens as they responded to the catastrophe and resulting in the loss of thousands of lives,” he said, addressing the crowd that had gathered. “Remember the 2,507 lives lost … [in addition to] the 44 first responders who perished in the attacks and ensuing rescue attempts, 72 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies, 343 firefighters, 10 EMTs and paramedics, and 55 military personnel. And remember the heroes that rose up against the terrorists on flight 93.”
 Flight 93, which was thought to be heading toward Washington, D.C., possibly the U.S. Capital Building, went down after passengers rallied together and heroically fought in an attempt to regain control of the aircraft.
 In his address, Burgess quoted the late Arthur Ashe, who said that “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”
 Burgess also urged a return to God.
 “This morning, as we begin this time of remembrance, let us turn to the one, that day, we turned to,” he said. “If you remember Sept. 11, let’s also remember Sept. 12 when the parks, and the churches, and county courthouse steps were packed all over the nation, as we turn to the Lord to bring peace and understanding and to bring comfort to those who are grieving, many still grieving today.”
 Weiser resident Christy Higgins followed with a performance of the National Anthem. Sean Alix, representing Conservatives Of, then gave an address of his own.
 “There are certain dates in history that you remember exactly where you were at, at that moment,” he said. “We remember these dates in history because they are part of our memory as a nation and also part of who we are as a people. We remember the sacrifice of those who have gone before us, whose lives were lost, and those who gave their last full measure of devotion in defense of our nation, for their families, and for their fellow Americans.”
 Alix’s daughters, Sydney, 20, and Bailey, 18, read accounts of those who experienced the tragedy first-hand, as did family friends Cassidy Winchester and Bradley Vanderpool. Alix’s son, Luke, 16, was also in attendance. Bev Wilkie followed with a song and guitar performance, the event ending with Bee Tree Folk School co-owner and local musician Dennis Cooper playing “Taps” on his harmonica.
 “It was a great program,” Cooper said following the ceremony. “I was impressed.”


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