FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – On Monday, the Miami Valley joined the nation in commemorating the 16th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Fairborn’s 9/11 memorial based outside of the Wright State National Center for Medical Readiness set the scene for one such ceremony.
The memorial includes a steel beam from one of the World Trade Center buildings and a concrete monument with an inscription that says “We shall never forget. We shall keep this day. We shall keep the events and the tears in our minds, our memories, and our hearts and take them with us as we carry on.”
The ceremony began with the presentation of the colors by the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard, national anthem, invocation and several patriotic songs.
Many at the event could recall exactly where they were during the 2001 tragedy.
City councilwoman Marilyn McCauley was living in Virginia at the time and was scheduled to visit the Pentagon the morning of September 11th.
“I got delayed, thank God,” McCauley said. “It was a weird, weird feeling. I just stayed at home for a couple of days. I wouldn’t even go out.”
McCauley co-chaired the committee responsible for bringing the 9/11 memorial to Fairborn. She said the city’s military history and close proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base bolstered demand for a permanent tribute.
“We’re very military oriented in the town,” McCauley said. “We’ve had a lot of people serve over the years and everyone felt very close to what happened on 9/11.”
Fairborn resident and VFW color guard member Andrew Strickland said he’s proud to see the year-round memorial outside of Calamityville, a training facility for first responders.
“When you see a piece like that in your hometown, I’m glad we got it,” Strickland said. “It should be remembered every year.”
Fairborn Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Paul Newman said the memorial and the 2017 ceremony give Fairborn residents and visitors a chance to reflect on an unforgettable American tragedy.
“It seems like a blink. (It seems like) yesterday I remember seeing those planes crash into the towers,” Newman said. “It’s just something you never forget. It’s always etched in your mind.”