Lubbock Police marked the Day of Remembrance with a ceremony in front of the police department. Police Chief Claude Jones welcomed fellow officers from the Sheriff's Department, the DPS, members of EMS, and the Tactical Star Team. City Councilman Ty Cooke read a proclamation from Lubbock's mayor honoring this day of remembrance, and Councilman T.J. Patterson led the group in prayer. Police Chief Claude Jones says the events of September 11th are a reminder of the importance of our freedom.
"There were heroes that were born that day, and heroes that gave their lives that day, and this is a great country, and we certainly know that the cost of freedom is expensive," said Jones. Sheriff David Gutierrez led the crowd in "God Bless America" before the ceremony wrapped up.
City of Lubbock leaders started September 11th with a breakfast at the Chamber of Commerce. Fire Chief Steve Haley, Police Chief Claude Jones, and Sheriff David Gutierrez all attended to remember 9-11 with several of Lubbock's business leaders. The group heard stories of the 9-11 impact on people right here in Lubbock.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech students gathered at Memorial Circle on Wednesday morning for their own 9-11 ceremony. President David Schmidly spoke to the crowd about his memories of September 11th and looking forward to the future. Following the ceremony, the students wrote letters that will be sent to the U.S. troops overseas.
For Monterey High School band members, September 11th started earlier than most. They were out at 5:30 a.m. getting ready to put flags up across the city. An hour later, Kiwanis Club members got ready to put some flags out of their own. The group put up close to 800 flags throughout Lubbock.
From putting flags up, to retiring one at a local high school. Estacado students watched Wednesday morning as the color guard retired the American flag. It's a traditional ceremony in which the flag is purified by fire as a symbol of the lives lost for America. The Director of the Texas Tech Vietnam Center, Dr. James Reckner, spoke to the crowd about the challenges facing Americans as we go forward.
One local teen brought back her experience of September 11th. She was in Washington, D.C. when the Pentagon was hit. Amber Childress at O'Donnell High School had been selected to work as a page for a year in the nation's capitol. She was in the capitol building nearby when the plane hit the Pentagon. She and everyone else in the building was evacuated. She shared her experience with others at O'Donnell on Wednesday morning.
"I did not know the building very well, since I had only been there a week, going out the wrong exit on the wrong side of the building, and I exited on the west side facing the Pentagon, and the sky was filled with smoke, and there were people running around everywhere," said Childress.
Amber says that she and her friends were all safe, and she had a successful internship.
As they did last year at this time, many people in Lubbock turned to God on Wednesday. Songs of praise and worship filled Lyons Chapel Baptist Church. Churches of all religions united in the church on MLK Boulevard in east Lubbock. Reverend James Clark of Mt. Vernon United Methodist says the service showed the resolve of Americans who can worship together despite their differences.