City of Alabaster remembers 9/11 with special ceremony

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – The city of Alabaster held a commemorative ceremony on Friday, Sept. 11, honoring the bravery and dedication of firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical workers and all others who lost their lives following the devastating terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The ceremony was held outside of Alabaster City Hall and was designed to reflect on the lives lost that day, where we have come as a country and where we need to go.

Alabaster Fire Chief Tim Love, Police Chief Curtis Rigney, Mayor Marty Handlon and Chaplain Arthur Harrison spoke at the ceremony to honor those who lost their lives.

“This is a day that we all remember and it is a day that we have to keep in our current memory,” Love stated. “Each year we come together and remember the events that happened that day. For the families that lost loved ones that day, they face this every day that goes on.”

Love recalled the 2 hours and 29 minutes in which the events of 9/11 played out and spoke on how he felt connected to the firefighters that were there even though he did not know them.

“A total of 343 FDNY firefighters died that day,” Love said. “I did not personally know any firefighters or police officers that worked there, but in our business that’s a brother or sister of ours forever. I ask that you remember all emergency workers that lost their lives that day and those that have died since then.”

At exactly 8:46 a.m., signifying the time the first plane struck on that day, a bell was struck followed by 30 seconds of silence honoring those who died.

Police Chief Rigney explained that the events of 9/11 were something that he would never forget, and talked about how important it is to think of the law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the aftermath.

“Those of us who are old enough to remember exactly where we were when the second plane hit the south tower will never forget that,” Rigney said. “Seventy-one law enforcement officers lost their lives that day, and following 9/11 another 241 died from cancer and other diseases from working at ground zero.”

Handlon noted that while it was important to remember what happened on that day, it is more important that the country continue to move forward like it did following the attacks.

“We keep saying over the last 20 years ‘Never forget.’ History surely contains an event that is forever embedded in each generation and is retold over and over to new generations,” Handlon said. “Not just for the sake of remembering, but to warn against complacency and to tell of the good that came from that experience.”