9/11 Remembrance Foundation of South Carolina honors Midlands service members and first responders

Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 7:49 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Monday marked the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001.

9/11 Remembrance Foundation of South Carolina will honor Midlands service members and first responders and remember the lives lost during that day on Monday.

The Morning of Remembrance was hosted outside the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on Lincoln Street at 8:40 a.m. A prelude to the ceremony began at 8 a.m.

The ceremony featured servicemen, city leaders and first responders from across the Midlands.

Speeches, patriotic songs and prayer were featured during the ceremony.

This year’s keynote speech focused on how America Defines the term “Hero.”

SC DMV Executive Director and Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army Kevin Shwedo gave the address, challenging those in attendance to be judicious with the term.

“We’re talking about heroes out here, we dishonor them when we use the word hero as a participation trophy. For my perspective that’s absolutely disgusting,” he said.

Irmo Fire Chief Michael Sonefeld spoke in honor of the late Irmo Firefighter James Muller, calling on those to turn “never forget” into action.

“Change your life a little bit. Change someone else’s life a little bit, it can be that big. Doesn’t matter. Do something, don’t just say the word that you remember, or you won’t forget,” he said.

Muller, late Columbia police officer Tyrell Owens-Riley, late Newberry police lieutenant Michael Wood, and late National Guard specialist Jayson Haven were honored during the ceremony.

You can watch the full ceremony below:

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