Biloxi fire department chaplain Jason Davis opened the September 11 remembrance service with a prayer.
"Father God, we come now thanking you for this opportunity to come reflect back on the times that many have lost loved ones," he said.
The backdrop for this ceremony was a fire department museum. Biloxi draped four patriotic banners over the museum's front doors.
Mayor A.J. Holloway was a featured speaker.
"All of these civilians where unknowingly victims of a tragedy that was an attack not on buildings or planes, but an attack on our very way of life," he said.
Behind him, the banners flapped in the gentle Biloxi breeze. They listed 403 of New York's fallen heroes.
Biloxi fire chief David Roberts said the terrorist attack two years ago was this generation's version of Pearl Harbor.
"Until September 11, I didn't realize or feel the way the people who were alive during Pearl Harbor have remembered Pearl Harbor," he said.
Biloxi firemen and policemen, highway patrolmen and AMR representatives all surrounded West End Hose Company number three for a short 9/11 ceremony. They rang a series of five bells at the precise moment the first World Trade Center tower collapsed. Biloxi fire captain John Jennings called the bells "a time honored fire service tradition." He said the chimes ring at each service of a fallen firefighter.
During the mayor's speech, Holloway remembered what he was thinking two years ago.
"The firefighters, police officers, ambulance workers, all emergency personnel, they could never have imagined, no one could ever have imagined that they would ever face a tragedy of such monumental proportions," he said.
Julie Herbert took pictures of the moving 9/11 ceremony to remember that tragic day. She drove over from Gautier to see the Biloxi service.
"It's a special day," she said. "We have to not forget what happened."
Mayor Holloway ended his speech with one sentence that captured the essence of the day.
"May God remember those who perished on 9/11."
by Brad Kessie