Old Glory hung at half-staff on Tuesday as Richmond County remembered and honored those who lost their lives and were affected by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
The East Rockingham Fire Department has a memorial plaque under its flagpole, in remembrance of the attacks.
“We got it shortly after the attack,” said Robert Cain, fire department board member. “We thought it would be good for the children. It’s part of history.”
Cain said he spends much time reflecting on the events when this time of year rolls around.
“I’ve lost sleep. I’ve been up the last few nights, watching it on TV,” said Cain. “We should never forget the 3,000 people that lost their lives. (The firefighters of 9/11) should always be remembered for their sacrifice.”
Cain said he isn’t sure what makes a person leap out of bed in the middle of the night to rush out to a fire and help people, but he feels those people have a special place among us.
“There are special-made people in this world that are supernatural. We have to keep their memory alive when they make the ultimate sacrifice,” said Cain.
On Tuesday afternoon, a memorial ceremony was held at Richmond Community College’s Cole Auditorium, hosted by the Early College.
“If you’ve ever lost a loved one, the pain is unbearable at times,” said Adrian Robson of the Early College, in the auditorium packed with students and elected officials. “The entire city of New York felt this pain but in a much greater magnitude. I took a trip up to New York City to see where these towers once stood. The emotions filled in the air were overwhelming.”
Robson asked all in attendance to consider their lives, and where they were, instead of being in New York City that morning.
“Words can’t express the pain I felt as I stood beside the reflecting pools. There, at the memorial, was a lady who was in grief for a loved one. she placed her hand on the name engraved into the stone memorial as tears streamed down her face,” said Robson. “We should examine ourselves and our lives. You could’ve been at the towers, or the Pentagon, but instead we were somewhere else as we could only look at TVs with our eyes in awe.”
Images and videos were played on the screen to take the audience back to the moment of the attacks, which included a downed airliner in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.