Locals honor heroes and victims of 9-11 attacks

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Keep Bossier Beautiful 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony Emcee Sonja Bailes holds the microphone for Central Park Elementary School fourth grader Lylah Paige a Powers as she read her essay "What Is a Hero."

Heroes were the theme Thursday of remembering the tragic terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony hosted by Keep Bossier Beautiful at the Liberty Garden outside the Bossier City civic complex paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to save others during the event, the first responders who saved lives in the aftermath, and soldiers who continue to protect the nation in the continually unfolding conflicts that followed in the years afterwards.

“Today we remember a day 13 years ago that did not shake us but made us stronger,” said event emcee Sonja Bailes.

One of the most stirring moments involved a speaker who wasn’t even born when the attacks occurred. Central Park Elementary School fourth grader Lylah Paige a Powers read her essay “What Is a Hero.” Lylah said although she isn’t old enough to remember 9-11, she has heard about the sacrifices made by emergency responders.

“When I hear the word ‘hero’ I think of soldiers stationed around the world,” said Lylah.

2nd Bomb Wing Commander Col. Kristin Goodwin was the guest speaker for the 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony held at the Bossier City civic complex Thursday morning.
2nd Bomb Wing Commander Col. Kristin Goodwin was the guest speaker for the 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony held at the Bossier City civic complex Thursday morning.

Guest speaker was 2nd Bomb Wing Commander Col. Kristin Goodwin.

“Not only am I humbled to serve in the United States Air Force, but be a citizen here with you to honor our fallen,” said Col. Goodwin.

As she looked over gathered first responders – Bossier City police officers and firemen and Bossier Sheriff deputies – Goodwin acknowledged, “the loss of life that day would have been greater if not for people like yourselves.”

She noted that despite the attacks, America prevailed as it has done throughout its history.

“Through challenging times the American Spirit prevailed…a spirit that makes us the greatest nation on the planet and that no act of terror can take away,” she said.

Visitors to the event passed 3,000 flags planted outside the Bossier City civic complex to honor those lost in the attacks. The flags were planted by Youth Challenge members at Camp Minden and donated by Ken Kovall with VFW Post 591.

“As I left the house this morning and read the names (of the victims), you can’t help but get a lump in your throat,” said Sheriff Julian Whittington. “It is Important to help us remember that we all need to be vigilant. Terrorism comes in many forms, it’s everyone’s job to be vigilant.”

The Liberty Garden was created by Keep Bossier Beautiful and dedicated in 2003 to remember the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 and those who lost their lives.