Piedmont remembered those who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with a ceremony Wednesday. Harvest Baptist Church joined American Legion Post 281 and citizens of Piedmont in commemorating Patriot Day on Wednesday by bell ringing followed by a minute of silence during the times of each of the terrorist attacks.
The bell was rung by Gordon Sanders, member of both the American Legion and Harvest Baptist Church. The bell rang at 8:45 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:43 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. Each ring commemorated the crash of American Airlines Flight 11 into the North tower of the World Trade Center, United Airlines Flight 175 into the south tower of the world Trade Center, American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 which went down near Shanksville, Pa.
“We have the divine honor of participating in this event,” Pastor Jack Ruble said. “Each time a bell rang on this day, a chord struck in our hearts as we remembered the sadness of the attacks and thank God for allowing us to remain a strong nation through all of this.”
The noontime commemorative ceremony included bell ringing that occurred simultaneously with a 21-gun salute, followed by taps coordinated by the American Legion Post 281 Honor Guard at the Legion Post. It honored the victims of the attack, emergency-service workers, and American military service personnel who have died in the war on terrorism.
The chiming of bells is a firehouse service tradition that dates back to the mid-1800s. Long before radios, pagers or fire alarms, daily announcements were sent from headquarters to firehouses by a system of bell commands and telegraph. When a firefighter died in the line of duty, headquarters would transmit five strikes, repeated in four series. This custom has continued through the years to this day. It is a form of rendering final honors to departed comrades. In the fire service this is known as “striking the four fives.”
“This ceremony helped us all to remember the sacrifices of those who died on Sept. 11,” Post Commander Philip Baker said. “The ability to remember important dates often escapes each of us in our busy lives. Yet, one date can never be forgotten – Sept. 11, 2001. We must also remember those who continue to give of themselves daily while fighting for our freedom. Everybody in Piedmont was encouraged to pause, reflect, and remember as they heard the church bell ring throughout the morning. We remember Sept. 11, 2001, just as we remember Pearl Harbor, the only other attack on American soil.”
“As a free people, we must never forget that the innocent victims of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on America did not die in vain. We stand united as a nation and are committed to wiping out terrorism and those who plot the murders of innocent civilians throughout the world. World opinion needs to remain focused upon the eradication of these inhuman acts perpetrated around the globe. One way to accomplish this is to NEVER FORGET that those innocent victims did not die in vain. America can fight back by reminding the world that the deaths of these people will always be remembered. A noble and appropriate way to accomplish this is through the annual celebration of their lives. This ceremony will not only honor those who have died, but also those who live and continue to fight for the freedom of this great nation,” Baker said. “As a nation united, we must remain committed to supporting the men and women of our armed forces as they serve with honor and courage.”