A day of remembrance in Broward for 9/11
It was a morning of emotion as Broward residents gathered in a ceremony of remembrance Saturday morning, September 11.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years, and it’s important to take out of our schedule to honor their sacrifice,” said Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, whose organization, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, hosted a ceremony at the public safety office on Broward Blvd. in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks. “Unfortunately Florida has been on the front pages of news around the world–not for a good thing, but for the pastor who wanted to burn the Qur’an.
“This day is not a day of protest or hate, but of remembrance of the 3,000 people who gave their lives. After 9/11, Americans came together to help, and we need to rekindle that.”
Across the country, Americans waved flags and held ceremonies remembering the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 when al-Qaeda conducted terrorist attacks, sending two planes into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and a third was derailed by passengers on its way to Washington D.C. The attack killed over 3,000 Americans as well as close to 1,000 emergency responders.
“Across the world today, people are mourning to show respect and to remember the victims,” said Broward Mayor Ken Keechl during the ceremony. “We need to reinforce and practice the belief that we shall never forget. People across this great nation came together to comfort those in need and what 9/11 taught me is this, that like the three firefighters who hoisted the American flag over the smoldering ruins, is that as Americans, we cannot separate our souls from the soil (of America).”
During the ceremony, the Broward Sheriff’s Office had representatives from New York speak, including Ronald Wasson who was a Full Inspector with the New York Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit and retired in 2002 following 22 years of service. Wasson was one of the first responders on the scene, and was visibly emotional as he shared his story with the large crowd who attended the ceremony.
Wasson said his daughter woke him up and told him a plane had hit the WTC.
“I was there (during the bombing of the World Trade Center) in 1993, so my mind didn’t go to terrorism until I turned on the television, then I got dressed and headed to a temporary staging area,” said Wasson, adding the route he took may have saved his life. “As we were coming in, the second plane hit, and I knew we were going to be tested. No one said a word, and the chief screamed on the radio that we needed to notify the military, that we were under attack. When the first tower fell, I really saw my life flash before my eyes (as we dove under a truck). We couldn’t see for eight minutes, and we’re seeing people and I thought they were ghosts. I couldn’t believe we had made it.”
He then said the team started the biggest rescue operation in the country.
“I was there from the beginning till the clsoing in the months that followed,” Wasson said. “I can’t tell you how much support we had around the country. We would come out of the pile exhausted and people would come up and hold us. There was never any words exchanged, they would just hold us and it gave us the strength to keep going. It was an amazing thing.”
Mickey Kross, who served as a lieutenant with the Fire Department of New York City and responded to the scene at the World Trade Center on September 11 also spoke. He told his story about how we was inside the North Tower and miraculously escaped death when it collapsed. Kross subsequently volunteered to do search and recovery missions at the site and worked there for many months. His amazing story was recently featured on the History Channel in a documentary called “Miracle in Stairway B”.
During the ceremony, in addition to the colors being performed, scenes from Sept. 11, 2001 were shown on several TV screens in addition to several moments of silence during the time when the planes hit. The New Young Patriots also performed a skit for the audience.
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