COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Friday, South Carolina’s leaders, first responders, and service members gathered for the 10th Annual Morning of Remembrance Ceremony.
It took place at the Columbia 9/11 and First Responders' Monument with a “Wall of Remembrance” being unveiled for the memorial’s 10th anniversary. The wall honors South Carolina’s fallen heroes who have lost their lives in the 19 years since 9/11.
Key speakers at the 9/11 “Morning of Remembrance” ceremony stressed that the ceremony is a way to pay tribute and never forget those lost, those lost on 9/11, as well as South Carolina’s first responders and military members who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our state and country.
“There is no doubt that the horrific acts of a few were surpassed by the heroic acts of many,” UofSC President Robert Caslen said.
Caslen, who is a retired Army lieutenant general, gave the keynote speech for the ceremony.
The “Wall of Remembrance” has the names and faces of 59 first responders and service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the last 19 years.
“And [it] helps us to remember that we are strong because we remember, and we remember because we are strong,” Governor Henry McMaster said during a speech.
The wall sits directly behind two steel beams from the World Trade Center towers, which serves as a constant reminder of the 2,977 people who lost their lives that day.
“I stared at the towers thinking my brother works there, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t be involved in this because I couldn’t believe he would be perished that day,”
Dawn Yamashiro, a Columbia resident whose brother died in World Trade Center on 9/11, said.
Yamashiro said she attends the remembrance ceremony every year.
“I wanted to make sure Brian was remembered and the other people who were simply going to work and didn’t come home that day,” Yamashiro said.
Families whose loved ones died in service in the 19 years since that day were also honored.
“To his family, thank you for raising a great American. To our department, thank you for keeping his memory alive,” Lexington County Fire Chief Mark Davis said while giving a speech in memory of Paul Quattlebaum, a member of the Lexington County Fire Service, who passed away this year.
Quattlebaum and Captain Andrew Gilette with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office were honored and their families received a special gift presentation. Both men sacrificed their lives in service this year.
The ceremony also included an F-16 flyover and bells chimed throughout the ceremony marking the moment each plane hit the towers and the Pentagon. McMaster presented the Order of the Palmetto at the end of today’s ceremony to Daniel Hennigan, the Columbia 9/11 memorial founder and a U.S. Army veteran.