ABERDEEN – The City of Aberdeen paused to remember the lives lost and the tragedy surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks with a program on the steps of City Hall honoring lost souls, responders and the military.

“It’s something I think is important that we know that our kids are part of our community and they need to learn many of these things about why we’re called the home of the brave. Nineteen years ago, these kids were not born. They have heard the stories,” said Aberdeen High School Principal Dr. Dana Bullard. “A lot of us can’t shake that memory. It’s shaped a lot of us, but it’s something that has not shaped our children. They don’t know those things. They can learn about it in history, but experiencing it is a different thing so I encourage you to be part of their lives.”

Mayor Maurice Howard thanked the local responders – the medical officials, dispatchers, emergency management agencies, police and fire departments and the sheriff’s department.

“I would like, on this special day, to give you reverence and honor. I’d like to honor you for all the work you do for our community. It is important you continue to serve with honor. May the Lord watch over all of you and continue to protect and serve you,” he said.

District 3 Supervisor Rubel West, who is a former battalion commander with the 223rd Engineering Battalion with the Mississippi National Guard, said deployment following the attacks changed the lives of several local people.

“Have patience with those still suffering from PTSD and some of the traumas that they went through. Some of them came back to broken homes. Keep them in your prayers and keep them comforted. Keep them close at heart,” he said, adding for people to keep past veterans in prayers and in their hearts.

Aberdeen Pentecostal Church Pastor Ricky Bowen recognized the number of New York responders who lost their lives on Sept. 11, localizing honor to Monroe County responders.

“I thank God for all of our firemen, police officers, sheriff’s department, our Mississippi Highway Patrol and our emergency medical technicians who each and every day don’t think of themselves when that phone rings. All they think about is saving someone’s life,” he said. “It’s easy for us to be critical of how they perform. In this day and age, it’s easy for all of us to be under a microscope. If you call one of them today and you need them, they lay all of that aside to help you.”

He reflected on late Monroe County deputy Dylan Pickle, saying he never dreamed he would answer his last call that day.

Pastor Joe Brown said the country has never been the same after the Sept. 11 attacks, but it has persevered with God’s help.

“Out of all the tragedies and frustrations we’ve all undergone, God is control,” he said. “We are in a valley that we have never experienced before. Many times, we don’t know where we are.”

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