County to 'Never Forget'
Countians Show Their Colors
SC Online Content Editor
Photos: The United States flag hangs between aerial fire trucks. Below, members of the crowd bow their heads in prayer.
On the two-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Sussex Countians gathered around The Circle in Georgetown to remember and to honor those who lost their lives then and those who serve their communities and the nation today.
A huge American flag billowed overhead in the cloudless sky, stretched between two aerial firetrucks, as County Administrator Robert Stickels and the crowd gathered around The Circle acknowleged the service of county police, fire and ambulance personnel who have been honored this year as their professions' best.
Rev. Charlie Arnold of Seaside Baptist Church, Lewes, choked back tears as he explained the sounding of the "five bells" four times. The signal notes, Arnold said, that a firefighter "has answered his last alarm," having died in the line of duty. The crowd fell silent and many bowed their heads as Arnold rang the silver bell slowly.
Taps followed, performed by Dave Hudson, Glenn Luedtke and Mike Parykaza. "Amazing Grace" followed on bagpipe by R. Steven Cochran, Pipe Sergeant for the United States Coast Guard Pipe Band.
Several speakers referred to the need to go forward in strength in the wake of the attacks, which killed more than 3,000 people at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and in a field in Pennsylvania.
State Treasurer Jack Markell asked, "What do the dead ask of us?", and said we can either "sit idly by or try to transfer those unfinished lives of Sept. 11 into something greater."
Delaware Attorney General M. Jane Brady said in the days after Sept. 11 she turned to God for guidance. She said she asked God for guidance for Americans as they faced the difficult days ahead.
"There is still great fear and great difficulty in the world," Brady prayed. "The pain and loss is still very strong." She also prayed that the great losses suffered on Sept. 11, 2001 not be in vain, and asked God to be with men and women in the armed forces.
Stickels acknowleged Sussex County service men and women for recognition. As he introduced Bruce Ritter of Lewes, recently returned from service in Iraq, Ritter received a standing ovation from the crowd.
The Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences Choir, accompanied by the Milford Community and Cape Henlopen bands, performed the National Anthem at the start of the program and "God Bless America" at its conclusion.
Just behind the children, who were dressed in their school uniforms, flags flew at half mast in honor of those lost on another clear September morning two years ago.
Sussex County Online Copyright © 1999-2003 Sussex County Online