9-11 Observances Held Across North Carolina
Posted September 11, 2003 5:10 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Across the Triangle, ceremonies were held on the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and the crash of a plane in Pennsylvania.
Gov. Mike Easley asked all North Carolinians to pause for a moment of silence Thursday at 8:46 a.m. -- the exact time the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
"Today, we reflect on the tragedy of two years ago and remember the terrible losses that this country and its people suffered. We have grown closer and stronger, and gained a new appreciation for our freedoms and for the courageous men and women serving in our military," Easley said.
In Raleigh, Mayor Charles Meeker led a ceremony which, like many nationwide, included a minute of silence at 9:59 -- the time the south tower of the World Trade Center fell. An honor guard of police officers and firefighters was also present.
Also in Raleigh, students at Broughton High School heard from their school resource officer -- Officer Stephen Jones, an Air Force reservist who was called to duty following the attacks.
Jones returned from the Middle East two months ago. He faced military challenges for America and offered a challenge to students.
"What will you do with the freedom that so many have given so much to provide?" he asked.
Many college campuses held their own ceremonies for the Sept. 11 victims.
Hundreds of students gathered at the Brickyard on N.C. State's campus to dedicate a plaque. It designates an Oak Tree, that was planted a year ago as a living memorial to the victims.
Students also gathered at N.C. Central University. The university lost Harry Glenn, who graduated in 1983, in the World Trade Center disaster. Students laid a wreath in his honor. Senior Tonya Williamson closed the memorial with the Star Spangled Banner.
In Goldsboro, home to airmen from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, elementary school children set the tone for a day of remembrance.
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, sent more than 1,500 airmen from the community into battle;
two airmen lost their lives
Keys to the city were presented to the wives of Capt. Eric Dos and Lt. Col. Bill Watkins.
In Fayetteville, firefighters remembered their fallen comrades by ringing a bell in three sets of five chimes -- a sign of someone who has died in service. The ceremony was held at the same time the first tower fell. It included a moment of silence and lowering the flag to half-staff.