The Northland News made it out to two 9/11 Ceremonies in Clay County Missouri. The first of the day was held outside of the Clay County Missouri Courthouse complex in Liberty, Missouri.
Enjoy the outstanding presentation of the American Flag before the speeches began:
Clay County Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte and Liberty City Councilman Paul Jenness spoke briefly to the crowd.
Nolte’s complete speech is below:
Thank you for gathering here on this solemn occasion. Today we honor the brave men and women who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attack on American soil, and the men and women in uniform who have paid the ultimate price in defense of liberty since that fateful day.
We stand in solidarity to honor their sacrifice and their valor in the face of terror. Never has the familiar quote from the Bible been more appropriate, “Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends. ” John 15:13
Though 14 years have passed since brave men and women rushed into burning twin towers to save their fellow Americans, we will never forget their selfless acts. Other courageous Americans defeated the deadly plans of terrorists on Flight 93, paying the ultimate price on a Pennsylvania field.
They knew they were risking death, but their actions saved many more lives and spared our country from an even more horrific tragedy.
Generations ago in another conflict in Pennsylvania, brave Americans gave what President Lincoln called “that last full measure of devotion.”
These sacrifices are what ordinary Americans do when duty calls…they do the extraordinary.
Like the surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor, 9/11 is a day that will live in infamy. But what those who carry out these cowardly attacks fail to understand is the strength of the American spirit.
Freedom endures and Liberty binds us together.
Nearly 3,000 lives were lost 14 years ago on that morning. Innocent men, women and children. Firefighters, police officers, paramedics. Military men and women. People like you and me.
Lives were shattered that day for those they left behind. We will never forget. Perhaps the best way to honor their courage is to preserve the legacy of freedom they held so dear. The devotion of our men and women in uniform, at home and abroad, active duty and retired, inspires we who honor them to keep the flame of Liberty alive.
Take time today to bow your heads in a moment of silence for the lives we lost, September 11, 2001. God bless their memory.
Councilman Jenness began by thanking all service personnel who were present. His brief comments focused on acknowledging the importance of the sacrifices that first responders made that day and have continued to make since. Saying, “I think it’s important to acknowledge that since 9/11 the sacrifice made by our first responding heroes has not wavered. In the years since 9/11 over 1,700 law enforcement officials have died in the line of duty and over 1, 100 firefighters have died in the line of duty. We honor our sacrifice and we thank them.”
After the ceremony, we spoke briefly with Captain Will Akin who has both served his country abroad and locally here in Clay County. We asked Akin to give us some thoughts on the day in the context of current events in America. He told us, “These times are trying times especially with what’s been going on across the country, but today is even more so. I think today will be a day of infamy but also a day of remembrance of the sacrifices our brothers and sisters in all colors have made. For most of us it’ll be a very emotional day.”
Friday night, we attended the wreath laying ceremony that was held by the Bennett and Dennis Herrick Memorial American Legion Post 626 at the Clay County Veterans Memorial. The ceremony honored the four American servicemen (Robert Wayne Crow, Jr., Matthew Mason, Shaun M. Mittler, and Trenton L. Rhea) from Clay County Missouri that lost their lives in Afghanistan. We originally covered the addition of the names to the memorial about a month ago.
Commissioner Jerry Nolte was present and spoke at this ceremony as well. Also speaking at the event were American Legion Post 626 Commander Nelson Duncan and Pete Hall. Hall was instrumental in the creation of the Clay County Veterans Memorial.
Commissioner Nolte’s comments begin at 4:45 into the video. Nolte’s speech was basically the same as the one he gave in the morning over in Liberty,
Hall’s comments begin at 8:55. His comments focused on the background and creation of the Veteran’s Memorial.
Duncan’s substantive comments begin at 13:00 in the video. He spoke about a recent experience as a volunteer at the “Wall that Heals” when it was in Kansas City. Duncan recounted an experience he had from the day.
You can watch the ceremony and complete comments from the speakers on our YouTube channel below. A photo slideshow from the day is below that.: