“Freedom Is Not Free”: 9/11 Remembrance
More than 5,000 Lubbock residents paid tribute to the victims of 9/11 this past weekend. The 10-year anniversary spurred several events in the city.
Locals gathered at Pfluger Fountain in Texas Tech’s Memorial Circle Friday evening to honor those who lost their lives in 2001.
Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Holliday was the guest speaker at the memorial occasion along with Lubbock Veterans who gave a tribute with taps and a 21-gun salute.
Holliday recalls the day she heard the nation was under attack.
Teaching a trigonometry class to her military students in New Jersey, she overheard someone hysterically running up and the down the hallway claiming a plane had purposely collided into the one the World Trade Center’s iconic twin towers.
It wasn’t until Holliday saw the overpowering cloud of smoke across the Hudson River that she believed the attack was true.
Holliday ended her speech with a call to remember the importance of appreciating life and those around you.
“Live our lives according to what we cherish,” said Holliday. “Our nation, our lives, our hearts, and our souls.”
Lubbock Trinity Church held a memorial Sunday at United Spirit Arena.
“We just felt as a church we should do our part, and bring everyone together, and to do really three things: to remember, to honor, and to say thank you,” said Senior Pastor Carl Toti.
Martin and Neugebauer expressed their appreciation to member’s of the nation’s military and acknowledged local first responders.
“Ten years after September 11, 2001, we remember those we lost, the families they left behind, and the bravery of the first responders who tirelessly put the lives of others before their own,” said Neugebauer. “We were reminded of a valuable lesson on September 11th, that freedom is never free. I want to remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice that day, and thank those who fight every day for the security of Americans at home and abroad. Words cannot express how much their service is appreciated. They are inspiring, humbling and make me proud to be an American.”
Neugebauer also honored those who serve in the local Department of Public Safety, emergency medical services, fire, police, sheriff, and medical associates with a special coin of commemoration.
“It’s always an honor for people to recognize us, but I think a lot of this comes back to a remembrance of the people who’ve died in the line of duty, not only on 9/11, but of those who have died in this area, this region,” said Fire Chief Mike Kemp.
Neugebauer also honored Lubbock local Sergeant Chris Davis.
Davis lost his life in battle. With his family at the ceremony, Neugebauer announced that the city would rename the post office on 50th and Gary in his honor.
“The families who have lost loved ones have given more than anybody else, because they don’t have their family members coming home anymore. They live the tragedy day in and day out.” said Kemp.
Neugebauer had a special plea to those in attendance. “We came together after 9/11, a day that we, individually and as a nation, will never forget. Together, we became one nation, under God, indivisible. As we commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we must never forget the unity that we felt, or the common bonds that make us all Americans.”