Across the state, Arkansans honor victims of 9/11

A day that will never be forgotten is remembered for its bravery instead of tragedy.

Neighbors gather to remember 9/11 victims

ARKANSAS (KTHV) - Today was a somber day in Arkansas and across the country as the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks fell on a Sunday. Across the state, we honored the lives lost and those who fought to save as many as they could on that tragic day.

The plane crashes in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania affected all of us but none as hard as first responders. 343 emergency personnel died in the attacks. Firefighters in Little Rock honored their service Sunday morning by raising their flag to half-staff.

"As firefighters, we remember it every day," said Captain Jason Weaver of the Little Rock Fire Department. "We think about their sacrifice, the honor, the professionalism and the sacrifice they endured that day."

In Conway, fire and police officials lead the public through the timeline of September 11th, 2001. Among the speakers Sunday were some of the men and women who spent time assisting at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the attacks.

Rebecca Smith recalled, "We just started praying for their lives. It just seemed unthinkable that this would be happening."

The city of Conway later unveiled a memorial which features a 500 pound I-beam recovered from the World Trade Center.

15 years later, Arkansans honor 9/11

Neighbors gathered on the front lawn of the courthouse in Heber Springs sharing thoughts and memories of lives taken on September 11th. They also thanked those still helping to protect and serve their community.

"We're still serving. We never quit," said retired Navy Master Chief Louis Gray.

He joined community members in an effort to remember the victims of 9/11.

"First responders, they never quit. Once they're there, it's a life you can never leave," Gray added.

Those who attended not only want to remember those lives during 9/11 but they also remembered those still living. The firefighter, first responders and the police who protect their city on a daily basis.

"Everybody remembers what 9/11 stands for, and we wanted to give a tribute to them, and I think we done a fairly good job of it," Gray said.

Flags standing throughout the lawn, one after another, showed off the unity of what America represents.

Commander of the Detachment of Arkansas Lon Baureeis said, "This is just one way that we can support our veterans and our officers and first responders."

With hands on hearts and hats in hands, respect was given for those living and fallen. People spread throughout the yard each had a deep found respect for the sacrifice made on that fateful day.

"These guys have given their lives for us. It's time for us to stand up," Baureeis said.

Year after year, they look to bring more people out for the event. Their hope is to spread more positive memories, more dedication within the community that works to honor those who serve.

The ceremony also helped the local veterans groups kick off their "Field of Heroes" program. A similar flag ceremony is planned for Veterans Day in November.


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