Local communities take time to honor lives lost on 9/11

9/11 ceremony at Wilmington Fire Station #2 on Sept. 11, 2020. (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Today marks a very sad day in American history. Americans are commemorating Sept. 11 during the coronavirus pandemic, which has reshaped so many areas of our lives.

Remembrance ceremonies marked the 19th anniversary of that tragic day.

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A 9/11 remembrance ceremony was held at the Wilmington Fire Station #2, which features an actual piece of the Twin Towers.

During the virtual ceremony on Friday, firefighters lowered the flags to half-staff and reflected on that fateful day with a moment of silence.

“I think it’s up to some of us to always remember that you know, those people paid an ultimate sacrifice that day,” Fire Chief Buddy Martinette said. “Lots of people died in those towers. Innocent victims for a war that was difficult for all of us to understand.”

About two dozen people were there to remember victims of the terrorist attacks and to never forget the police officers, firefighters, and others who lost their lives searching for survivors at ground zero.

In Brunswick County, there was another 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Belville on Friday. 

It took place at the Veterans Memorial at Belville Riverwalk Park.

The ceremony lasted about an hour with a number of local leaders giving speeches.

WWAY spoke with the Leland Police Chief and a veteran who both explained why it’s important to remember our first responders and our active and retired military members for their service to others.

“The sacrifices that our first responders, our military veterans, our service members … the sacrifices that are made everyday, before and even after 9/11,” Police Chief Brad Shirley said.

“We haven’t forgotten what they went through,” Veteran Gerald Decker said. “That day, like other days in our history, like Pear Harbor. We’re not gonna forget.” 

Organizers capped the ceremony around 50 people due to limits on mass gatherings due to the coronavirus.

In Surf City, Mayor Doug Medlin shared photos of the Surf City Fire Department walking across the bridge with the American flag to honor the fallen.