Sept. 11 victims remembered
An American flag stood at half-staff, cars honked nearby and Richard Lyman fought back tears as he spoke Thursday of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“Good and decent people died and American heroes tried to save them,” he said.
Several pauses and words later, Lyman, a first commander with the American Legion at South Lake Tahoe, somberly added the nation holds them in gratitude.
“We owe them. We owe them not to forget their sacrifice,” he said.
Lyman and others attended a heartfelt memorial service for the two-year anniversary of the worst attacks on American soil at South Lake Tahoe’s American Legion Hall, several thousand miles from the carnage.
But several of the dozens who comprised the quiet, reflective audience, had ties closer to New York.
Lauren Seagrave grew up in New York with a view of the twin towers from her bedroom. She lost a cousin when the buildings fell after being struck by hijacked commercial airplanes. Her husband, Brodie, is a South Lake Tahoe police officer.
“I think most of us take our freedom for granted,” she said, pausing for a moment before pointing to acknowledge several members of the VFW post.
“They don’t take it for granted,” she said.
Andrew Dingledy and Meghan Collier, both from Boston, watched as Collier’s cousin played in the bagpipe procession. They talked about how Boston became an emergency center while the city increased its guard.
Dingledy believes anniversary services help Americans remember why the United States is embroiled in wars with Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I definitely think people are going to forget more and more each year,” he said.
Curt Emrie, the commander at American Legion, headed the ceremony. He rang a bell 11 times to signify American wars: the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War in 1848, American Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War and the war on terrorism.
Arlyce Guerry and Jaymee Willison watched from behind sunglasses. Both had opinions on the anniversary.
“It represents America and what we stand for and be appreciative of what we have,” Guerry said.
Emrie, also wearing sunglasses, mentioned that the ceremony was tough, perhaps made tougher by the picture of his niece, Maj. Deanna Violette, an Air Force pilot fighting in Afghanistan.
“Between (Commander Lyman) and I, it’s hard to put on stuff like this,” Emrie said.