Remembering 9-11, 16 years later


RACINE — “Where were you when the world stopped turning?” asked Albert Proffitt, quoting an Alan Jackson song, during Saturday’s 9-11 Ceremony at Racine’s Star Mill Park.

Those old enough to remember the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trace Center, the Pentagon and the plane brought down in Pennsylvania, are likely to be able to tell you exactly where they were that day.

On Saturday, a ceremony was held at Racine’s Star Mill Park as part of Party in the Park as has been done for the past few years.

The remembrance ceremony and tribute to first responders and military personnel is an annual part of Racine’s Party in the Park.

Proffitt thanked those in attendance for coming to pay “respect and show appreciation to all who work to keep America safe.”

To open the ceremony, representatives from the sheriff’s office, Racine Police Department, EMS and numerous local fire departments came to the park in a procession which began at Southern High School. Once arriving at the park, the first responders walked from their vehicles in a silent procession as the Southern Marching Band played the National Anthem.

Proffitt told the background of the steal cross which stood behind the veterans, military personnel and first responders.

Two days after the attacks, those searching through the rubble for survivors came across beams which formed a 20 foot steal cross. Three others were also located in the same conditions.

During the emotional clean-up at Ground Zero, the cross became the symbol of solace and peace. The original cross was one of four found that day in New York City, thus the artifact provided a significant inspiration to those who continued to search for survivors.

The replica is on display each year at the Racine ceremony as a reminder of that day.

“Lets never forget,” said Proffitt.

Proffitt said that the planning of the ceremony is bittersweet with the remembrance of those who gave their all, as well as handing out the flyers and having the opportunity to say thank you to those who serve.

Also during the ceremony, Proffitt called up first responders Jason Ridenour, Lowell Ridenour and Dax Holman. The three men were the first responders on a call a few years ago and were responsible for saving the life of Proffitt’s girlfriend Pat Barnette. Barnette came up to thank the men and present them with shirts which read “America’s Finest” on the back.

Speaking to the crowd during the ceremony in addition to Proffitt was Racine Marshal Shane Bell, Racine First Baptist Church Pastor Duke Holbert, American Legion representative Kevin Willford and Sheriff Keith Wood.

Bell said that he remembered seeing the devastation that day and there is the daily fear of situations as the “nation moves away from God.” Bell said that we need to “unite as Christians” and need to stand with one another.

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First responders from fire, EMS and law enforcement were joined by active duty and military veterans for the 9-11 Ceremony on Saturday at Star Mill Park in Racine.
http://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/09/web1_9.12-911-Ceremony-1.jpgFirst responders from fire, EMS and law enforcement were joined by active duty and military veterans for the 9-11 Ceremony on Saturday at Star Mill Park in Racine.

Ethan Redman, age 6, of Mason County stands in his military uniform along with the other participants in the 9-11 Ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
http://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/09/web1_9.12-911-Ceremony-2.jpgEthan Redman, age 6, of Mason County stands in his military uniform along with the other participants in the 9-11 Ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
Racine pays tribute to first responders

By Sarah Hawley

hawley@aimmediamidwest.com