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9/11 victims remembered during Bentonville ceremony

by Tracy Neal | September 15, 2021 at 9:44 a.m.
Le Osterfeld (cq) with the USS Snook Base submarine veterans group based in Rogers salutes on Saturday Sept. 11 2021 during the Pledge of Allegiance at the 9-11 remembrance ceremony in Bentonville. Go to nwaonline.com/210912Daily/ to see more photos. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)

BENTONVILLE -- A few hundred people gathered Saturday to honor the thousands killed in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I came to honor the men and women who lost their lives that day," Allyson Meadows of Mountain Home said.

Meadows, who was 10 in 2001, said her father was a fighter pilot and they lived on a military base. She was home-schooled and her grandmother called to tell Meadows' mother about an airplane hitting the World Trade Center.

Her father was deployed two days later to fly missions over New York and several weeks later he was deployed to the Middle East.

Benton County Judge Barry Moehring and Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman presided over Saturday's ceremony on the downtown square to honor the 9/11 victims and those who lost their lives in the war on terror.

Nineteen terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes, according to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum website. They intentionally flew two of the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and a third into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va.

Passengers and crew members of the fourth hijacked plane initiated a counterattack, causing the hijacker to crash the plane into a field in Pennsylvania, according to the website. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day.

Orman said the day is one of remembrance. She read the names of the seven Arkansans killed in the attacks: Joni Cesta of Little Rock, Lacy Bernard Ivory of Marvell, Sara Elizabeth Low of Batesville, Nehamons Lyons IV of Pine Bluff, Barbara A. Shaw of Little Rock, Jimmy Nevill Story of Texarkana and Malissa Y. White of Bald Knob.

"Today is about remembering," Moehring said. "That's why we are here this morning. We are here to recognize the more than 3,000 lives lost and the day that changed our nation forever."

Moehring said he was particularly touched to see many of the area's first responders at the ceremony because more than 400 police and fire personnel lost their lives at the World Trade Center -- the country's largest loss of first responders in one day, he said.

"We will never forget the haunting images of those heroes just like you who ran into danger and never made it out," Moehring said. "We are so grateful for your courage and your service to our great community and our great nation."

Bentonville Boy Scout Troop 36 presented the U.S. flag, Arkansas flag and the 9/11 flag of honor at the ceremony. The troop members then raised the three flags on the flagpole near the Benton Courthouse Annex.

Orman said the 9/11 flag is inscribed with the names of each person killed on 9/11.

Taps was played and a moment of silence was held as well at 7:46 a.m. -- 8:46 a.m. Eastern time -- in remembrance of the moment American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north face of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

James Bell of Rogers remembered being at home that morning, getting ready to go to work. He saw it unfold on television.

"I walked in the room and saw the second tower being hit," he said. "I knew immediately what happened and I was very angry."

Nancy Leake of Bentonville said she had taken her father to the doctor and they watched the planes hit the World Trade Center on television in the waiting room.

"To see that happen touched everybody and in that tragedy it brought our country together and united our country in a way that had not been done," Leake said.

Kellie Carpenter, 25, of Pea Ridge said she was in kindergarten and did not have any real vivid memories of that day. She still felt it was important for her to come to Saturday's ceremony.

"I'm here in a way to honor and remember those killed that day," she said.

Print Headline: 9/11 victims honored and remembered

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