GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The 9/11 attack on America eight years ago was remembered Friday at solemn ceremonies across the country. One such remembrance took place at the Seabee base in Gulfport. Several hundred military members and civilians paused to reflect and pay tribute.
The emotion was evident in the voice of base commander, Captain Ed Brown, who was the featured speaker. For him, 9/11 is quite personal. He was in the Pentagon on that fateful day eight years ago.
"Today, we commemorate the tragic events that occurred on September 11th," said emcee Paul Thibodeaux.
An overcast sky greeted the remembrance; a stark contrast to the brilliant blue sky on that fateful morning eight years ago.
"God of our weary years and our silent tears. We pause to remember the loss of almost three thousand brothers and sisters. God, we remember the smoke. The ash. The buildings falling down like sand castles," said Chaplain Leticia Rouser, during the invocation.
"America was under attack. And all we could do was watch. All of us shared in the sorrow of this hideous massacre. In one way or another, this tragedy affected all civilized people from every country. Today, the bell tolls to remind us of the reverence we owe to all who lost their life on September 11th," said Thibodeaux.
Captain Ed Brown was dangerously close to being among the victims that September morning. The base commander was inside the pentagon.
"You do not awaken the sleeping giant. You do not attack our country. Because we will band together. We will find patriotism that we long ago forgot. For the young generation that has come up, that has joined the military, that has jumped forward. Thank you," said Commander Brown.
The solemn placing of a wreath marked the remembrance.
"Signifies the honor due to those who on this day, lost their lives for our freedom," said the host.
"Allow us to remember the pain and the panic it caused our country. But also how men and women of every race, creed and color joined together to secure our country," the chaplain prayed.
Along with placing the wreath, the Seabees also dedicated a simple, wooden bench. It has a plaque which is inscribed: "For the victims of 9/11 2001. You will never be forgotten."