The people of Hutchinson County made a point to ensure that the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, will not be forgotten.
Close to 300 people were in attendance at a special 9/11 Memorial Service held Sunday afternoon in Huber Park.
The service was held in the area where a 9/11 monument, currently in the works, will be placed.
Deputy Chief James Qualls of the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office said that our nation was shaken by such events as the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Oklahoma City Bombing that occurred in April 1995.
He said at that time, people wondered if the United States of America would survive.
“We as a country came together, and became stronger,” he said.
He said he was in Austin to attend a Department of Public Safety class when the events of 9/11 occurred, and was unable to get home due to flights being grounded across the nation.
Qualls said he said he wanted nothing more to get home to his family and be of assistance, but was helpless to do so.
He said he was truly grateful to all of the first responders who stepped up when their fellow man needed them most.
“I, for one, am truly proud to be an American,” Qualls said. “God bless America.”
Fritch Police Chief Kirk Coker also spoke at the ceremony, thanking all of the first responders who stepped up and put their lives on the lines to save the lives of people on 9/11.
“Everybody stood together to fight for our country,” he said.
Also speaking at the ceremony was 84th District Court Judge William D. Smith (remarks above).
A variety of special music was presented, which included the national anthem, “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning),” “God Bless America,” and “God Bless the U.S.A.”
Presenting prayers at the event was Chaplain Stan Belt. A “Tolling of the Bell” was performed by Alan Wells and the Borger Complex Honor Guard. A 21-gun salute was performed by the Borger Area Emergency Services Honor Guard.
“Taps” was played by Kevin Kuehler and James Carter. Other highlights of the events included the reading of the names of the 343 firefighters and 72 police officers who died in the line of duty on September 11, 2001, along with a fly over by the Department of Public Safety.