Suffolk marks anniversary of terrorist attacks

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 12, 2005

As the sun set over Constant’s Wharf Sunday evening, a small gathering of people remembered the thousands of innocent lives that were lost four years ago to the day.

Speakers, including

Mayor Bobby Ralph, Del. Chris Jones and Sen. Fred Quayle, paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

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Sept. 11, 2001 was one of the darkest day in the pages of American history. But it also highlights the strength of the American spirit in the face of adversity.

At the event, put on by the Citizen’s Academy Alumni of Suffolk, Ralph called that spirit to mind.

&uot;While America lost so much that day,&uot; he said, &uot;we rallied around one another, beyond all racial, religious and socio-economic boundaries. An entire nation supported the families of those whose lives were lost on that tragic day.

&uot;If there is a lesson to be learned from those horrific events, it is that a united America is a strong America.&uot;

It’s an America that now has to fight another battle, he continued.

&uot;As we face our most recent national crisis, Hurricane Katrina, I hope we can and will continue to build on the lessons of generosity, of heart and strength of character as we help those who were devastated by the storm try to rebuild their lives.&uot;

Singer Jason Swain performed the Garth Brooks song, &uot;Change.&uot; Originally written after the Oklahoma City bombing, it’s about courage in the face of disaster.

Though the final death tally may never be known, over 3,000 were officially declared dead after the attacks. Most tragically, virtually all were innocent victims, Quayle said.

&uot;These were… people engaged in the quiet heroism of supporting their families, pursuing their own meaningful part in a diverse and free society,&uot; he said. &uot;They were all heroes, perhaps individually unknown to most of us, but no less heroes to their own families, friends and loved ones.

&uot;Looking back at the many acts of heroism and bravery in the initial response to these attacks makes us realize that through the countless examples of courage and generosity, we have met the very worst of humanity with the very best of humanity.

&uot;The courage, selflessness and professionalism of firemen and police officers in New York City alone saved more than 25,000 lives that day, making it the most successful rescue operation in our nation’s history.&uot;