On an aptly gloomy Patriot Day at Market Square inOld Town, public safety officials, government officials, residents and passersby held a ceremony in between two immense American flags on the eighthanniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
A gathering of about 200 attended the memorial where sullenfaces, moments of silence and prayer coalesced with sturdy words from MayorBill Euille, Chief of Police Earl Cook, Sheriff Lawhorne and Fire Chief AdamThiel in remembrance of the attack, its victims, its heroes and how it changedthe city and country forever.
We have come together today to reflect and remember asolemn event that forever changed our community and our nation, Lawhorne said.In some ways, the 9/11 terrorist attacks brought us out of innocence. Itopened our eyes to the thoughts that once, in a great while, evil has its dayand the ideals of freedom and democracy, which we hold dear, have no meaning toothers. While September 11th took away our innocence, that day gave us muchmore. It opened our eyes to the honor integrity, spirit and solidarity of our nationand our people.
Thiel and Cook, who both responded to the scene at thePentagon eight years ago today, joined Lawhorne in saluting a memorial wreathfollowing the ringing of a bell five times each by a representative of the citygovernment, police department, fire department and emergency medical services.The ritual recognized the sacrifice of those who died responding to the attacksin New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Retired FDNY Battalion Chief Gene Mceowan, who responded to the World Trade Center eight years ago, was on hand as a special guest. It was his first September 11th spent outside of New York.