ABERDEEN – From students and first responders to members of the public and local officials, a number of people paused Sept. 10 to reflect on a dark day in American history during Aberdeen’s annual Sept. 11 ceremony in front of City Hall.

“Twenty years marked a time when an event goes from part of our memory to part of our history. That’s because there’s a generation in their 20s that can’t remember where they were, and some may have not been here when this act occurred. They hear about it from witnesses, memorials like this or their parents. Then our memories start to fade over time,” said Sheriff Kevin Crook.

He and other speakers reflected on the sense of unity Americans had following the Sept. 11 attacks.

“I tell my church all the time unity is not that we all agree and think alike. Unity is that we can all agree on some things and think differently on some things but all get along. That we can love each other despite our differences and our preferences,” Crook said.

Aberdeen Assistant Police Chief Chris Dobbins, who was among speakers and those leading prayers, served in the military and recited a poem about the attacks.

Mayor Charles Scott, who served in the U.S. Army, reflected on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 when he watched the news of the attacks.

“I realized we were at war because no one could tear down our tower in New York City and get away with that,” he said.

He recalled reporting to Fort Knox in Kentucky a short time later to coordinate military supplies.

District 3 Supervisor Rubel West, who served in the Mississippi National Guard, also recalled a quick response to mobilize the 223rd Engineer Battalion as a battalion commander.

“Normally, you have 30 days to get all of your equipment and all of your soldiers to report to Fort Campbell,” he said. “We had to call the alert roster to get them all in, and Aberdeen was a part of that unit. I can tell you this. All 663 soldiers showed up in a four-hour period to serve their country.”

West also explained the significance of Sept. 11 on the calendar, noting different events throughout history falling on that date.

“In the seventh century, there was an attack on the western way of life through a Muslim jihad on Sept. 11. In 1632, the Siege of Vienna took place where the Ottoman Empire already pushed through Europe into France. On Sept. 11, the pope of Poland dispatched troops to repel that caliphate (a reign of a Muslim leader) against our western way of life and our way of worshiping our God.

“On Sept. 11, 2001, Osama Bin Laden reignited that caliphate, and it’s no strange coincidence that Afghanistan has essentially been lost and will be taken over on Sept. 11, 2021,” West said.

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