HAVELOCK — The 9/11 memorial service at Havelock Monday morning was short, but moving.
Remember this day all day.
Remember it every day.
And, remember the cause all Americans should never forget the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist airplane attacks on the U.S.
Havelock Fire Chief Rick Zaccardelli, who helped bring the World Trade Center beam from New York City in 2010, stood near the memorial at the police department and talked to the crowd of several hundred people about what “never forget” means.
“To me, it means remembering those 343 firemen that were rushing into a building when others were trying to get out,” he said. “In the fire service, we have a 9/11memorial stairs. They climb 110 floors with all their gear on. We should also never forget the nearly 3,000 people who were killed.”
But, he has other memories, such as the heroics of the passengers on Flight 93 that brought a plane with terrorists in a Pennsylvania field.
“One of the passengers that was on the flight that made the crash in Shanksville – his name was Todd Beamer – and he was on an open line and he said “are you guys ready? Let’s roll,’” Zaccardelli recalled. “They were at 30,000 feet and made a decision to overtake that plane. That is very emotional for me.”
He also talked about the importance of not just holding an annual memorial service, but also keeping younger generations informed about what happened – less the day get lost in history.
He pointed to a group of Annunciation School children who walked across U.S. 70 to the memorial to lead the singing of the National Anthem.
“It is up to us to give them accurate information,” he said.
Havelock Police Chief David Magnusson recounted other memorable dates in U.S. history and related them to remembering 9/11. He talked about the attack on Pearl Harbor, winning World War II, electing the first Catholic president, and sending a man into space, the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy – all before 1964.
“So, what does that have to do with today’s date?” he asked, “Historically, it shows much like moving forward from Pearl Harbor, from 9/11there are going to be other events that will bring us great pride. There are also going to be plenty of events that will bring us great anger and great sadness. It will evoke a fear into all of us.”
He said that with such events, it is human nature to lash out, adding that there is always a silver lining.
“We should all take solace in knowing that as Americans, we will endure,” he said. “Despite all our differences – petty or otherwise – we will be there for one another.”
He added that weekend hurricanes in Texas and Florida are the newest events to test the will of Americans.
“We look to a bright future, because America is where the sky is the limit,” he added. “We must remain vigilant for all eventualities.”
9/11 memorial services were also held Monday at Fairfield Harbour, which also has a 9/11 Memorial, along with the Havelock and New Bern campuses of Craven Community College and by the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department.
Charlie Hall can be reached at 252-635-5667 or 252-259-7585, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CharlieHallNBSJ