A mixed bag of sadness, happiness, and resolve were among the sentiments expressed during the City of Wellston's 9/11 Memorial Service held Monday evening, Sept. 11 in front of the Wellston City Building. The program was conducted on the 16th anniversary of terrorists' "Attack on America," which occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
Former President George W. Bush later declared Sept. 11 as Patriot Day, a day of reflection for the worst attack on American soil, as 2,996 people lost their lives. The center of the attacks was the Twin Towers in New York City, but the U.S Pentagon in Washington, D.C. area was also attacked, and an airplane crashed in Pennsylvania after it was hijacked by terrorists.
The host for the Wellston 9/11 Memorial Service was Grace Baptist Fellowship Pastor and Wellston Fire Department Chaplain Tim Jones, who also has previous service with the Jackson County Chapter of the American Red Cross. He noted the courage and determination Americans exhibited as they went through the tragedy.
During her remarks, Wellston Mayor Connie Pelletier put the attack into a historical perspective while also establishing the importance for having a service now.
"Sixteen years ago, our people, our country and our way of life were attacked," she asserted. "We pledged to never forget the sacrifice of those that lost so much."
Many words of wisdom were also offered by LifeSource Apostolic Church Pastor and Wellston Police Chaplain Michael Jadrnicek, who blended in some relevant statistical information as well.
"People with more than 80 nationalities died as the result of the attack," he stated. "The fires raged for 99 days before they were finally extinguished while 20 people were rescued alive." He also spoke about efforts of the first responders along with ordinary people such as a construction crew in New York who volunteered to help. He declared this type of spirit resonates across America.
"An act of heroism never fails to bring out the good in all of us," said Jadrnicek. "We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom."
The message of how important the first responders were in the Attack on America was described by Wellston Fire Chef Ryan Pelletier. He also pointed out how something good came out of it.
"There were 393 firefighters who died during the attack and they will always be respected," he noted; but he also pointed out the U.S. Homeland Security Office grew out of the ashes. The agency, he added, has provided equipment, training and resources to police and fire departments all over the country.
"Yes, the creation of the U.S. Homeland Security Office has trickled down to Wellston, Ohio," the chief stated. He credited the Wellston Fire and Police Department members for paying the ultimate price as well as they have responded to local emergencies.
As he closed the ceremony, Wellston Presbyterian Church Pastor John Pelletier stated Americans are "fortunate to live in our land and have the abundances we do." He asked for God's blessing on America.
Also included in the ceremony was an invocation by Dave Kelly; the playing of Amazing Grace on the trumpet by Wellston High School Band Director Josh Willett; and a prayer for law enforcement everywhere, offered by Church on the Move Pastor Billy Whitt.
Mayor Pelletier thanked everyone for attending the 9/11 Memorial Service.