September 11th Memorial Service Held (with slide show)
Judge James E. Lockemy, Veteran Affairs Officer of Dillon County Jerry Huggins, the Boy Scouts, and others prepared for this service.
Judge Lockemy remarked, “No other country in the history of this world has done so much to protect its own freedom and open the opportunity of freedom for so many others. To say we remember 9-11 is to say that we are aware that there are many around this world who oppose freedom of thought, freedom of religion, and the blessings of liberty. We remember 9-11 so that we will be ever vigilant to protect freedom. We remember 9-11 not to remember those who were killed that day but also the sacrifices that have to be made to keep America free.”
Rev. James Smith of East Dillon Baptist Church of Dillon had prayer and gave the following remarks concerning 9-11:
The September 11 attacks 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 airlines. 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 Washington, DC. The fourth place 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, DC. There were no survivors from any of the flights.
There were a total of 2,996 deaths, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims. The victims were as follows: 246 on the four planes (from which there were no survivors), 2,606 in New York City in the towrs and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. All the deaths in the attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon. A total of 411 emergency workers who responded to the scene died as they attempted to rescue people and fight fires. The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) lost 341 firefighters and 2 FDNY paramedics. The New York City Police Department lost 23 officers. The Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers, and 8 additional EMT’s and paramedics from private EMS units were killed.
More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) estimated that about 17,400 civilians were in the World Trade Center complex at the time of the attacks. The vast majority of people below the impact zone safely evacuated the buildings. At least 1,366 people died who were at or above the floors of impact in the North Tower and at least 618 in the South Tower, where evacuation had begun before the second impact.
According to the Commission Report, hundreds were killed instantly by the impact, while the rest were trapped and died after tower collapse. At least 200 people jumped to their deaths from the burning towers landing on the streets and rooftops of adjacent buildings hundreds of feet below. Some of the occupants of each tower above its point of impact made their way upward toward the roof in hope of helicopter rescue, but the roof access doors were locked. No plan existed from helicopter rescues, and on September 11, the thick smoke and intense heat would have prevented helicopters from conducting rescues.
The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror. It invaded Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaeda terrorists. The United States also enacted the USA Patriot Act. Many other countries also strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers.
In the days immediately following the attacks, many memorials and vigils were held around the world. In addition, pictures were placed all over Ground Zero. A witness described what he experienced, and I quote- “I was unable to get away from faces of innocent victims who were killed. Their pictures are everywhere, on phone booths, street lights, walls of subway stations. Everything reminded me of a huge funeral, people quiet and sad, but also very nice. Before, New York gave me a cold feeling: now people were reaching out to help each other.”
One of the first memorials was the Tribute in Light, an installation of 88 searchlights at the footprints of the World Trade Center towers which projected two vertical columns of light into the sky. In New York, the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was held to design an appropriate memorial on the site. The winning design, Reflecting Absence, was selected in August 2006, and consists of a pair of reflecting pools in the footprints of the towers, surrounded by a list of the victims’ names in an underground memorial space. Plans for a museum on the site have been put on hold, following the abandonment of the International Freedom Center in reaction to complaints from the families of many victims.
The Pentagon Memorial was completed and opened to the public on the seventh anniversary of the attacks, September 11, 2008. It consists of a landscaped park with 184 benches facing the Pentagon. When the Pentagon was repaired in 2001-2002, a private chapel and indoor memorial were included, located at the spot where Flight 77 crashed into the building.
At Shanksville, a permanent Flight 93 National Memorial is planned to include a sculpted grove of trees forming a circle around the crash site, bisected by the plane’s path, while wind chimes will bear the names of the victims. A temporary memorial is located 500 yards from the crash site. New York City firefighters donated a memorial to the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department. It is a cross made of steel from the World Trade Center and mounted on top of a platform shaped like the Pentagon. It was installed outside the firehouse on August 25, 2008.
Many other permanent memorials are being constructed elsewhere, and scholarships and charities have been established by the victims’ families, along with many other organizations and private figures.
There is so much more we could share with you today, but we have been reminded of enough to cause us to remember the horror and terror of 9-11. As the infamous evil attack of Pearl Harbor is not forgotten, so must we not forget 9-11, September 11, 2001!
God bless those victims who died.
God bless those who fought on Flight 93.
God bless those who dared to rescue and gave their life.
God bless those who have fought and still fight against this terror.
God Bless the United States of America!!!
Our local enforcement officers in attendance were recognized and thanked for their service.
A wreath consisting of red, yellow, and white roses with a banner was placed in front of the monument. The red symbolizes the blood shed in this country since 9-11 while defending this country. The white symbolizes the purity of purpose that represents the character of this country. And the yellow symbolizes that we are still waiting and supporting all those serving until they all come home.
In 1985 James Lockemy was traveling towards Dillon when he began to think of a monument to pay tribute to our soldiers serving throughout the world. He contacted Vicar Fred Gough of Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church of Dillon. Together they came up with the following to be placed on the monument.
“As you look upon this symbol of courage, remember those Dillon County men and women, living and dead, willing to make the supreme sacrifice to defend this nation and liberty throughout the world; many you did not know and some are now filled with taste of youth and some are yet unborn; but it is to their memory, their patriotism, and willingness to fight for freedom, yesterday, today and tomorrow that this monument is dedicated.”
September 11, 2011 will be the 10th Commemorative Service. Judge Lockemy promises this service to be a very special one. So, plan now to attend next year’s event.