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CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) — Ceremonies were held all across our county today to remember what happened ten years ago. Hundreds in our area came together to honor and celebrate the lives lost on that day in 2001.

“It’s so we never forget,” said Carol Russel, who lives in Wilmington. “Never forget what these people did to us and we are always vigilant and know that it could happen tomorrow.”

Cape Fear Community College held a memorial event at their North Campus. The service marked the events of that tragic day in real time.

“I was actually working September 10th night and September 11th, so to go ahead and hear the radio transmissions in my head again and to see what I saw first hand, it brings me back almost instantaneously,” said James Kadnar, a retired New York City firefighter.

A bell was tolled four separate times, each to honor those who died in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and Flight 93.

“One of the gentlemen said not to hold our heads down anymore in grief, but to look up and to be thankful,” said Charlie McGee, who lives in Wilmington. “It’s kind of like a celebration of life and how we’re going on and America is not giving up.”

CFCC dedicated its own memorial, made by interior design students. At its forefront, a piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center site.

“I think everyone’s lives ought to be celebrated as opposed to thinking all the time with sadness,” said Kadner. “I don’t think they would want us to be walking around with our heads held low.”

“I’m not just proud to be an American, I am an American and I will die an American,” said Chuck Siegal, who is from New York. “I hope the day that I die, that somebody puts an American flag in my hand.

The ceremony involved members of local fire departments, law enforcement agencies and government officials. Members of the NYPD and New York City Fire Department were also honored at the event.

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