Last week's 9/11 ceremony was the first I had ever attended. Although I don't have anything to compare it to, I thought it was an exceptional remembrance of the heroes and victims.
The overall mood was solemn but not sad. I hope by now, most Americans have shed their tears for the tragedy and see Sept. 11 as a day of honoring the dead rather than grieving for them. Of course, the families and friends of those that died that day may never stop grieving and who could blame them?
My only complaint is that I would have liked to see more people attend. Winslow is so unique to be able to have two pieces of the World Trade Center towers and a flag that was flown over the Pentagon before it was shipped here. Although the ceremony reminds us of one of the most tragic days in our history, it is something the city and perhaps the rest of Northern Arizona can rally around. The very existence of the Remembrance Garden is a testament to the compassion and patriotism of Winslow residents.
But attending large memorial ceremonies is not the only way to pay respects. As long as every American remembers in his or her own way the people who unwillingly lost their lives and the first responders who knowingly risked theirs, the terrorists never really succeed.
Unfortunately, in my story last week, I forgot to mention a few people who contributed to the ceremony -- Patrick Herrera, Sr., Johnny Ortega, Patrick Herrera, Jr., and David Cordova of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3978. Sorry for the omission and thank you for serving.