By Lindsay Starr Platt
Sunday was the 15th anniversary of September 11 attacks that shook our country in 2001.
Sunday evening at sundown, the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Belton Area Military Spouses Support group (BAMSS) came together to honor the fallen heroes from the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center (Twin Towers) in New York City.
September 11 is a day revered in the lives of first responders, as many lost their lives that day as they went into the Twin Towers to help, serve and protect when the building collapsed while they were inside. Police officers, firefighters, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), police volunteers, military members both active duty and retired and their spouses met at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor for a memorial ceremony and candlelight vigil.
Belton Police Deputy Chief, Larry Berg, Anne Jackson BAMSS member, Retired United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jackson, Marily Considine, military spouse, and Nicole Stairs, employee, Belton Area Chamber of Commerce and Salado Volunteer Fire Department were all speakers at the event. Speakers had the chance to talk about what remembering 9/11 means to them and how they go about honoring it in their lives.
“It is always a very moving experience to stand shoulder to shoulder in strength and unity with the citizens of Belton, even while reflecting on such a horrific tragedy. I am very proud to be an American, but more so a citizen of Belton,” said Berg. “The first responders have been shown an amazing amount of love and support from the whole community. I am so thankful God has chosen this place and these people for me to serve and do life with.”
The candlelight vigil started at UMHB and proceeded to a procession to the newly constructed Belton Police Memorial in front of the Belton Police Department. where candles were lit and held by all attendees in a silent vigil for the lives lost. Attendees also joined in singing the national anthem. Blake Waller, band instructor at Temple Independent School District played “Taps” on the bugle.
“Attendees left with humble hearts,” said Stairs.
Whether it is called “Patriot Day” or “9-11”, it is forever going to be a day when our nation comes together in solidarity to honor and remember the lives lost and the lives forever changed when our country was attacked.