Remembering 9/11

Published 11:24 pm Saturday, September 10, 2011

Demonstration: Suffolk public safety officers gave demonstrations of their skills Saturday during a ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Above, the Suffolk police SWAT team crosses Washington Street to demonstrate a search warrant in the Professional Building. The ladder truck in the background would soon be used to rescue a “victim” from the rooftop of the downtown building.

City’s ‘Taste’ event includes memorial

City leaders commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on Saturday.

The ceremony at the Taste of Suffolk event included a speech from Capt. Mark Ogle of the U.S. Coast Guard. Unlike for most others, the day was already an abnormal one for him when the attacks occurred. He had awakened at 5 a.m. to a call about a fire at a military facility.

While he was still dealing with that incident, the real tragedy of the morning began.

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“I was shocked,” he said. “We really weren’t ready at that time.”

Ogle’s sister-in-law was supposed to be on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pa., when passengers tried to regain control of the aircraft from the hijackers.

She had overslept and missed the flight.

“On that day, we all came together,” Ogle said. “We took the fight to the enemy.”

A decade later, Ogle said, the country has made great strides in terrorism preparedness.

“You can kind of see what we’ve put together,” he said.

Mayor Linda T. Johnson said the events deeply affected everyone.

“We all know where we were,” she said. “We all know what we were doing.”

She also recognized the firefighters, police officers and rescue workers who responded to the attacks.

“These brave public servants were doing what they do each and every day,” Johnson said.

“Today, we honor the fallen, the survivors and those whose lives were changed 10 years ago,” City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn said. “Let us never forget, but always be prepared.”

Fire and Rescue Chief Mark Outlaw and Police Chief Thomas Bennett also spoke at the ceremony. Their departments provided safety demonstrations, including a SWAT team operation in the Professional Building and a ladder rescue from its rooftop.

Delegate Chris Jones said that 10 years later, it’s important to remember, while at the same time “regrowing the spirit that is America.”