Local News

NC remembers 9/11 with service projects

Posted September 11, 2013

— Across North Carolina, men and women turned a day of mourning into one of service to mark 12 years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. 

In Raleigh, a workout group gathered at Moore Square before dawn to climb 110 stairs to honor the firefighters and first responders who climbed the World Trade Center steps on that fateful day. 

Geoff Hall said the group first decided to climb steps in honor of 9/11 a year ago. 

"It's a way to honor the victims and the emergency workers who died that day," he said. "We hope we're out here every year."

David Moreau said it's easy to complete the workout because of what it means. 

"It motivates you, that's for sure," Moreau said. "Sept. 11 is our generation's Pearl Harbor. It's a somber day, but it's also a day to celebrate what Americans can do when they are called to action."

"When you remember why you're out here, it's easy to keep going," Hall added. "Those guys didn't have an option to stop on 9/11."

Tony Diaz, a native New Yorker, was among hundreds who gathered at the State Fairgrounds to prepare meals for hungry families. The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina benefits from the efforts of the more than 700 volunteers who packaged as many as 100,000 meals.

Among them was Gov. Pat McCrory. 

"That's the best way to recognize Sept. 11, is to to give back," McCrory said. "That shows resolve and our strength and our patriotism more than anything else."

Mark Mahoney echoed that sentiment.

9/11 day of service Volunteers prep meals to remember 9/11

"It's such a day that goes to the core of who we are Americans," Mahoney said. "We were knocked down and we got back up. This is just one way to show it."

Diaz, who lived in New York City in 2001, said he was "minutes away from the World Trade Center when it happened." After a brief period of unemployment, he is proud to be able to help others. 

Volunteers in Durham participated in a similar event, harvesting and planting fresh fruits and vegetables to be donated to the food bank there. 

A mobile museum and a series of military services were among the observances scheduled across North Carolina on Wednesday to commemorate the terrorist attacks on the U.S.

In Fayetteville, a 9/11 Mobile Museum was unveiled at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville. The Tunnel to Towers museum contains artifacts donated by New York firefighters specially selected to provide a look at what happened that morning in lower Manhattan.

FDNY Battalion Chief John LaBarbera and Capt. John Carroll, both of them veterans of the ground zero response, will accompany the mobile museum as it heads to Atlanta on Sept. 15, then a five-day stop in Raleigh beginning Sept. 17.

The 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base also scheduled several memorial events. A ceremony slated for the base firehouse included a 21-gun salute, a slideshow illustrating the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and several speakers.

Frank Siller spoke about his brother, Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who died at Ground Zero.

Stephen Siller Mobile museum honors 9/11 first responders

"He gave so much. He paid the ultimate sacrifice because that is what our military and our first responders do everyday for us," Frank Siller said.

Stephen Siller had the day off on Sept. 11, 2001, his brother said, but when he heard what happened at the World Trade Center, he rushed in to help.

"You know the decision – you guys live it every day," Frank Siller said. "There was no decision. He had to get there."

The Onslow Civic Affairs Committee hosted a remembrance at Camp Johnson, which is adjacent to the Beirut Memorial. Local law enforcement, firefighters, first responders and rescue personnel represented those who were killed while responding to the attacks. During the event, participants observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., one minute after the first impact at the World Trade Center.


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  • marsupial75 Sep 11, 2013

    It's sad to see that even in a story covering how North Carolina's residents commemorate that awful day, people still bring up politics in comments, knocking down the other side.

    My goodness, just put down your arms and your disdain for ONE DAY and recognize that, in the end, we're all in this together, and that we're more alike than we are different. Whether Democrat, Republican, Christian, Muslim, atheist.

  • Jack Flash Sep 11, 2013

    "There were MANY people dancing in the streets in foreign countries on 9/11...MANY!!! You can still see the videos of them doing it on Youtube."

    Exactly how many Muslims fit into the screen of a hand-held, street-level camcorder? What does the exact number have to do w/ hate crimes against American Muslims?

    "And yes, the peaceful ones should be protected..."

    Actually, in this country, our Constitution exists to protect ALL people, and its validity is proven most when it protects even those whom we despise. As for peaceful, American Muslims should not have to go out of their way to demonstrate their peacefulness to us. They don't owe us that and we aren't entitled to that.

    "THAT is why our troops went to Iraq..."

    Justified by incorrect evidence and directed by a Commander in Chief w/o any military experience to speak of, which you railed against when it was President Obama, yet President GW Bush gets a pass.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Sep 11, 2013

    WageSlave - "While we go on with life over here, thousands are crying because of the innocents killed by our drones...works both ways."

    If they turned in the vipers that nurse at their chests, they wouldn't be getting shot at by anyone.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Sep 11, 2013

    jackflash -

    There were MANY people dancing in the streets in foreign countries on 9/11...MANY!!! You can still see the videos of them doing it on Youtube.

    And yes, the peaceful ones should be protected, in those countries and in ours, and THAT is why our troops went to Iraq after countless Kurds were gassed to death and THAT is why our troops are in Afganistan risking their lives to protect the innocent.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Sep 11, 2013

    678devilish - "If we came together because of the 911, why aren't we together now, like the Democrats and Republicans should be doing. We keep pulling each other down and apart. So what did we really learn from the 911? We "ALL" need to come together for our country and fellowman/woman."

    Ask any WW2 Vet, they'll know.

    Many who remember that day well are aging. The young were too young to remember. As people age, memories fade, and the young never experienced it, so they perpetuate our mistakes. It is the way of humankind which all too often isn't kind at all, and it is why there will never be peace.

    For instance, those in power today never faced a war. Many have never even served in our country's armed forces. Yet they are the ones making decisions. If they had faced a war or even served time in our armed forces, they'd understand at least all or a part of why things happen and what they need to do to change things.

    Instead, we are doomed to continue the same path over and over.

  • Jack Flash Sep 11, 2013

    "they were dancing in the streets"

    Yes, there were some people in foreign countries dancing in the streets on 9/11. That was used as a justification to hate all Muslims everywhere, and when that was questioned, the response was essentially that if American Muslims didn't like being lumped in w/ terrorists, they should have spoken up condemning the act. Like it was their own fault they were profiled and harassed b/c the default was that it was okay for us to treat them like that.

    Now, a small group of Muslims hold a peaceful march on 9/11 that includes a moment of silence for the victims and a condemnation of the attacks, and people change the narrative to "the Muslims where throwing sand in our eyes with their march on 9/11. ( Unbelievable right?)" Why not just be honest that you're going to hate all Muslims all the time so that they can stop trying to figure out what conciliatory gesture to try next?

    If our Constitution doesn't also protect Muslims, it's not worth anything.

  • Obamacare for everyone Sep 11, 2013

    WageSlave, this isn't the time or place for that. Show some class please.

  • WageSlave Sep 11, 2013

    Millions cried, while in some cities in the middle east, they were dancing in the streets at our grief.

    You keep saying that, what repsonse are you expecting? While we go on with life over here, thousands are crying because of the innocents killed by our drones...works both ways.

  • 678devilish Sep 11, 2013

    Will the 911 ever happen again on America's soil? Then wake up Americal and learn to get along.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Sep 11, 2013

    Millions cried, while in some cities in the middle east, they were dancing in the streets at our grief.