'We have accepted responsibility to never forget,' said Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin.
The work of remembering was taken up at the Palm Coast Elks Lodge 2709 on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
Dignitaries' speeches recounted the tragedies of the day, including the deaths in the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the deaths on the planes, the deaths of the immediate rescue efforts and the deaths caused by the after-effects of the toxic dust. Moments of silence commemorated each step in the morning's timeline:
- 8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 strikes World Trade Center Tower 1;
- 9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 strikes World Trade Center Tower 2;
- 9:37 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 strikes the Pentagon;
- 9:59 a.m. South Tower 2 collapses;
- 10:03 a.m. United Flight 93 crashes into the ground in Pennsylvania;
- 10:10 a.m. Western section of the Pentagon collapses;
- 10:28 a.m. North Tower 1 collapses;
- 5:20 p.m. World Trade Center Building 7 collapses.
Dozens of first responders and medical personnel — local people who were directly involved in the rescue effort after the terrorist attacks — came forward to stand in front of the Elks Lodge's twisted metal beams that form the 9/11 memorial.
Speakers at the event were Bill Hall and John Clouser, of the Elks Club; Jerry Dickens Sr., formerly of the Fire Department of New York; Greg Hansen, Flagler County commissioner; Rick Staly, Flagler County sheriff; Fred Gleissner, retired New York firefighter; Lenny Ensalaco, Flagler County Fire Rescue deputy chief; and David Alfin, mayor of Palm Coast.
Staly asked those in attendance to remember the heroism of those who ran toward danger, rather than remembering the acts of the terrorists that day.
Flags and wreaths were presented, and audience members were invited to place flowers at the base of the memorial.
Alfin's concluding speech quoted Virgil, who wrote: "No day shall erase you from the memory of time." Alfin continued: "Through the passage of time, our hearts are healed; our sorrow becomes less. But through time and every single day, nothing can ever erase the memory of those we loved. We have accepted responsibility to never forget, and, indeed, we will never forget."