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September 11 Remembrance & Tribute

wallofprayer

Wall of Prayer first erected on September 15, 2001

The September 11 attacks (often referred to as 9/11) were a series of coordinated suicide attacks by Al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11, 2001. On that morning, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing everyone on board and many others working in the buildings. Both buildings collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania, after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C. There were no survivors from any of the flights.  2,974 victims died in the attacks. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals of over 90 different countries.

2007: In 2007 the Village of Central Square held a ceremony not only to remember the victims of 9/11 but to honor the local men and women who volunteer in our area and serve in the military.  Special guest speaker was Judy Habib who spoke about the first hand effect terrorism has had on her life.  The American Legion, a bagpiper, local ministers, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, firefighters, ambulance and police officers came together at Goettel Community Park.  The Wall of Prayer which was originally erected on September 15, 2001 was reassembled and on display.  Probably one of the most stunning sights was the 2,974 small American flags surrounding a wooden cross where local veterans stood watch.     

2008: In 2008 the village again held a ceremony to remember the victims of 9/11 and to honor our local volunteers. Denise Porter sang the National Anthem and special guest speaker was Eric Pitman who lost his son in the attacks. Special recognition was also given to Captain Philip Dykeman who passed away while serving his country and his family was present. Avery Head ended the evening by playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes in front of the prayer wall and newly added 9/11Wall. The 9/11 Wall lists the names of the 2,974 victims of 9/11 and photos of some of them are on the border of the display.

Nation Of Survivors
by Jack Foshee

In the bright September morning without warning to us all
A few thousand lives were shattered and we watched two buildings fall
And a billion souls felt empty, and the flags at half-mast fly
In the memory of the innocent which didn't have to die

We've lost brothers, sisters, cousins. We've lost family and friends
But we've made the choice not to forget their lives and tragic ends
Though we've had our share of troubles we have put them all aside
As a nation grieves we find ourselves defending them with pride

We're a nation of survivors, with one heart we share a tear
But we live to serve the memory, not giving in to fear.
Though they try to take security with the things they've done and said
All their acts of inhumanity bring unity instead.
So we stand here as a family. One heart, one soul, one voice.
We are challenged by this moment, and united here by choice.

-- Jack Foshee Jr, 9/12/2001

2009: In 2008 the village held a ceremony to remember the victims of 9/11 and to honor our local volunteers. This year however we adopted the phrase, “You are always in our hearts”! To go along with that the American Legion and Village of Central Square organized a parade to lead down to the park for the ceremony. Once people arrived at the park they say that the assembly of flags around the cross were no longer the cross pattern used in the past bit an impressive heart shape. The heart shape was first suggested by local resident Linda House. Denise Porter sang the National Anthem and special guest speaker was George LaPorte, a disabled American Veteran. Part of the special event was the announcement of Eagle Scout candidate Dustin Robinson and his project to erect a veterans memorial across from the Legion. Mike Zellweger ended the evening by playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes in front of the 9/11Wall. The 9/11 Wall lists the names of the 2,974 victims of 9/11 and photos of some of them are on the border of the display. Representatives from local churches also spoke throughout the evening.

2010: This year’s 9-11 ceremony was a turning point for our village. It was time to put the mourning behind us and move forward. The Village of Central Square would like our 9/11 Remembrance to become a lasting and forward-looking legacy that forever remembers and honors the victims of 9/11 and world terrorism in general, and also pays tribute to those who have risen in service in response to terrorist attacks. As part of this the Wall of prayer was retired but the 9/11 wall with the names of the victims remained. Sheila Turverey and Heather Stevens developed a 9-11 challenge idea. Along with the assistance of the Village of Central Square and American Legion the 9-11 challenge was announced at this year’s ceremony by Mayor Murphy and the challenge wall was unveiled. Locally we have so many volunteers who are making a difference every day. We would like to hear what they are doing and let others in our community hear also. In addition we would like to have groups submit a photo or photos to be displayed on our (Challenge) memory wall. We would like to encourage our community and its organizations to voluntarily perform at least one good deed or other service activity. This can be anything from placing the flags on our veterans graves, to volunteering to read with a child in our schools, join a community clean up event, give blood, support a food bank or helping a family in need. The possibilities are endless and no deed is too big or too small. At our remembrance ceremony in 2011, the 10th anniversary, we would like to have a representative(s) briefly speak on their project or deed as part of the program. We also want to encourage all of those involved to attend the ceremony to show that action and the remarkable spirit of unity, understanding, and service that brought America and the world together in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks is still alive in our community. Also as part of the 2010 ceremony the village had a parade. The summer recreation kids created a display and local resident Paul Rettig loaned a beautiful painting he and Michael Smith had done of the New York City Skyline. Retired US Army Col. Michael T. Plummer spoke on patriotism and Mike Bellone spoke and displayed the 9-11 fire truck.

Links:
  Photos from 9/11/2014 Ceremony
  Photos from 9/11/2013 Ceremony
  Photos from 9/11/2012 Ceremony
  Photos from 9/11/2011 Ceremony
  Photos from 9/11/2010 Ceremony
  Photos from 9/11/2009 Ceremony
  Photos from 9/11/2008 Ceremony
  Photos from 9/11/2007 Ceremony