MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
In 2001, after the attacks of 9/11, former President George W. Bush addressed the horrors the nation had just witnessed by saying “Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.”
The city of Havelock, N.C., reminded Marines, Sailors and families living in the area about the 2,500 men, women and children the U.S. lost in the devastating attack of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, by unveiling a 9/11 memorial located next to the Havelock Fire Department Sunday.
The memorial is a steel beam from the World Trade Center that was put on display and can be seen from U.S. Route 70. Over 1,000 World Trade Center artifacts were sent all over the U.S. and other nations around the world.
“This memorial gives us an opportunity to not only remember 9/11 but all the events and losses the United States has suffered since that horrible day,” said Jimmy A. Sanders, mayor of Havelock. “The military members have sacrificed a lot to protect this nation and fight the war on terrorism.”
Since November 2001 Marines from Cherry Point have been supporting the global war on terror.
“The Marine Corps fights hard to end the war on terror,” said Master Sgt. Jonathan A. Oakley, the assistant avionics chief for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26. “The city of Havelock is a big supporter of Cherry Point and the Marines and Sailors aboard the air station. This memorial means just as much to this town as the air station.”
The memorial began with remarks from the police chief, mayor, fire chief and the executive officer of Cherry Point, Lt. Col. Eric S. Weissberger.
After remarks were made about the importance of remembering 9/11, the memorial was revealed and a Marine Corps rifle team fired a 21-gun salute followed by the playing of “Taps.”
During the memorial speakers gave facts of the fateful days, such as the oldest and youngest people to lose their lives during the attacks and about the final survivors found on 9/11. Both the youngest and oldest were on hijacked flights. The youngest was a 2-year-old child and the oldest was 82 years old. The final two survivors found in the rubble of the 9/11 attacks were two firefighters who were pulled out by two Marines.
Sanders said he hopes the people who attended the memorial will take away the feeling of hope and patriotism.
The artifact from the World Trade Center was placed at the center of the 9/11 Memorial that the city of Havelock plans to have finished by Sept. 11, 2012.
“This memorial will be a great way to show tribute to those people who lost their lives in the past decade,” said Oakley. “I feel the Marines, Sailors and all who see this memorial will now have no reason to forget. This memorial will ensure that you and I always remember and never forget.”
Since the events of 9/11, more than 5.2 million service members have served. 2.3 million are still in today and the same number has been deployed.