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Fort Bragg ceremony honors 9/11 victims

Old Glory rustling in the wind, rifles crackling a salute and the eerie sound of tap whispering a final goodbye - Wendy Lacey knows the importance of all those things.

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Old Glory rustling in the wind, rifles crackling a salute and the eerie sound of tap whispering a final goodbye – Wendy Lacey knows the importance of all those things.

A native New Yorker, her uncle helped build the World Trade Center, her cousin help put up the new one and her brother-in-law saw the old one come down.

“He saw people jump, and he dedicated a large portion of the next two years of his life for recovery and stuff like that,” Lacey said.

She helped remember the 13-year anniversary Thursday during a ceremony at Fort Bragg. The event included music from the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus, a wreath laying, 21-gun salute and Taps.

Lt. Jerrel Johnson, a former soldier and current Spring Lake police officer, helped post the wreath honoring first responders at the ceremony.

“Well, I was on duty that day when it happened. First responders, police officers, it can happen any second with us, and we just do it,” he said.

Gen. David Fox, the former Garrison Commander at Fort Bragg, served in Afghanistan and says he is proud his grandchildren are learning what 9/11 is all about.

“They’re actually studying it in school, (and) they’re going to remember the sacrifices of not only the soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines, but of our civilians of those who wear the uniforms,” Fox said.

More 9/11 events held around NC

Gov. Pat McCrory ordered all North Carolina and U.S. flags to be lowered to half-staff on all state facilities from sunrise to sunset Thursday in recognition of Patriot Day. Patriot Day is a national day of remembrance and service that honors the thousands of people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Thirteen years ago, our nation was attacked and life as we knew it changed forever," McCrory said in a statement. "On this anniversary, we unite in remembrance and prayer for our nation, those innocent lives lost and their families who must still cope with this tragedy."

The governor took part in the North Carolina Food Bank "Sort-A-Rama Day of Service" at the Former Nortel Facility in Research Triangle Park. This was his second year participating in the Food Bank's Day of Service in honor of Patriot Day.

McCrory also attended a ceremony for injured combat veteran Marine Cpl. Nathan Jakubisin, who, along with his wife and young child, received a set of keys to a new home as part of Operation: Coming Home, a joint volunteer project by the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County (HBA), the U.S. Veterans Corps, PulteGroup and various area nonprofits and businesses.

Jakubisin is a Purple Heart recipient. He suffered severe leg and hand injuries from an improvised explosive device (IED) while conducting patrols in the Kajaki District of Helmand Province in Afghanistan on June 9, 2012.

"Cpl. Jakubisin's selfless service to our nation can never be repaid. Still, it is important that we continue to show men and women like him our continued gratitude and admiration. This 'Hero Home' is an incredible testament to what valor and courage can inspire in others. North Carolina should be proud not only of its service members returning home, but also its hardworking civilians and all that they do to support veterans," McCrory said.

The North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs and American Legion Post 124 in Apex hosted a remembrance event to honor the thousands of Americans who died in, and as a result of, the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The event was held at the 9/11 Service Memorial on the corner of Saunders and N. Salem streets.

NCDVA Director Ilario Pantano, a former U.S. Marine and witness to the attacks, gave remarks and introduced Speaker Pro Tempore of the N.C. House of Representatives Skip Stam. Stam, also a former U.S. Marine, headlined the ceremony and spoke to the events of 9/11 and the courage of past, present and future generations of Americans.

The event included a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. for American Airlines Flight 11 and at 9:03 a.m. for United Airlines Flight 175, the times the planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York City. A wreath laying closed the event, honoring all of the victims of 9/11, their families and the military personnel who courageously responded, sacrificed and endured.

Orange County hosted a 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on the front lawn of the Historic Courthouse in downtown Hillsborough.

State Sen. Valerie Foushee delivered the keynote address. Also joining the county were law enforcement and fire agencies from the towns of Hillsborough, Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Prior to the ceremony's conclusion, attendees were provided with remembrance cards to write reflection statements to share their memories of Sept. 11.

Fayetteville Technical Community College's Student Government Association sponsored two 9/11 observance events Thursday. The first observance began at 9 a.m. at the student gazebo near the Tony Rand Student Center. Army Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Irizarry II, head of FORSCOM's US Army Reserve Command, spoke.

The second event was a remembrance concert at noon on the front lawn of the Tony Rand Student Center featuring the FORSCOM Army Ground Forces Ceremonial Band. Seating for 150 attendees was provided for the hour-long concert.

The Town of Spring Lake held a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony Thursday at Veterans Park at the corner of Ruth and Main streets. The ceremony began at 8:30 a.m. with a moment of silence and remarks by Col. Thomas Solhjem, FORSCOM chaplain as well as the Spring Lake police chief and fire chief. Bells were rung at the times the first and second World Trade Center towers were struck.
Country singer-songwriter Katie Armiger was headlining a concert for first responders and veterans Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at North Carolina Veterans Park, 300 Bragg Blvd. Armiger has released four albums. The video for the song "Safe," billed as a tribute to first responders, has had more than 2 million views.
Wayne Community College's paramedic class paid tribute to the professionalism and bravery of the first responders who lost their lives while responding to the terrorist attacks. On Thursday morning, the members of the class climbed stairs to 78 floors in turnout gear to mark the highest level first responders were able to reach in the World Trade Center's South Tower before it collapsed.

The college's Basic Law Enforcement Academy cadets joined the EMTs at the beginning of their commemorative exercise in a show of solidarity.

Wake Tech marked the day with a tribute to the victims and heroes of that day, along with recognition of the first responders in the community who risk their lives every day.

Public safety professionals joined college leaders and other members of the community at Wake Tech's Public Safety Education Campus. The event included a special rose presentation at the Memorial Wall, a wreath-laying ceremony and the release of doves.

Students at Saint Augustine's University honored the lives lost in the 9/11 tragedy. George H. Boykin III, chief of the campus police department, shared his firsthand experience as a first responder on 9/11.

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