OHIO VALLEY — Flags lined the streets in Pomeroy on Wednesday, while the flags at government and other buildings were flown at half-staff, commemorating the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The annual 9-11 Memorial Ceremony and Tribute in Racine will take place at noon on Saturday, Sept. 14 at Star Mill Park/Racine American Legion. The ceremony also pays tribute to first responders serving their community today, in addition to those who served the nation during the attacks on 9-11. The ceremony follows the Party in the Park parade which takes place at 11 a.m. in Racine, with lineup beginning at 10 a.m. Many first responders will take part in the parade prior to the ceremony.
Ceremonies and memorials were held in Mason County on Wednesday.
At the ceremony at the Mason County Career Center and Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School, Mason County first responders, law enforcement officers, city officials and various guests gathered around the flag poles at the career center for a ceremony honoring those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
After the Mason County Sheriff’s Deputies raised the flag to half mast and the staff members from MCCC said words of description of 9/11, Superintendent Jack Cullen, Point Pleasant Fire Chief Jeremy Bryant and special guest Bill Hott said a few words.
“At the end of the day, I remember government officials came on the TV and asked something I never had heard before teaching at anytime in the classroom and it was basically say a prayer for our nation, say a prayer for the victims, say a prayer for the first responders, say a prayer for the victim’s family, and no matter where you are, whether you’re at your business, home, or in school, say a prayer for them. The nation really rallied around each other and Sept. 11, 2001 is a day I will never forget,” said Cullen.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, I lost 343 brother firefighters who came in that morning as many of them had for many years not realizing it would be their last. 60 police officers, 80 EMT paramedics and 2,997 civilians perished due to the foolish events of 9/11/2001,” said Bryant. “9/11 united America for the days, weeks, months and even years following 9/11, we’re a much stronger country. We suddenly had the all for one and one for all mentality again, unity and pride filled us all.”
“Many heroes came out of Sept. 11, 2001, almost 3,000 people were killed, but since then, a lot of people don’t know this, over 2,000 people have died from cancer or diseases that were caused going into the buildings trying to save people, so we’re probably at around 5,000 victims…,” said Hott. “Who were those people? Those were your everyday people, those were gentlemen right there in uniform, police officers, firemen, EMS personnel, they were heroes.”
At a riverfront ceremony in Point Pleasant, city officials, first responders, law enforcement officers and residents gathered to remember the tragedy that struck America 18 years ago.
Pastor Jonathan Pinson reminisced on where he was on Sept. 11, 2001, then just a 16-year-old high school student attending what he thought would be just a normal school day.
“That morning on a tranquil Tuesday it would end with the murder of 2,977 innocent lives,” said Pinson. “On this day 18 years ago, 19 terrorists who had their minds filled with hate and delusion and their hearts filled with harm and destruction hijacked four airplanes and carried out a series of cowardly, suicide attacks against innocent unsuspecting targets.”
He can also remember the day following.
“I can recall not only Sept. 11, but I can recall Sept. 12. I can recall on Sept. 12 as continued efforts for search of survivors, as the death toll continued to rise and as recovery efforts began and were continued. I can recall the realization that swept across our country as we called out to God for protection, for strength, for mercy. I can recall public officials from the highest offices in our land begged every American to go to God on behalf of our country, on behalf of those families who had lost loved ones. I can recall the spirit of unity that swept across our country, I can recall the national pride…,” said Pinson. “On this day Sept. 11, 2019, we remember, we remember Sept. 11, 2001, we remember Sept. 12, 2001, may God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.”
Ohio Valley Publishing staff journalist Erin Perkins contributed to this report.