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Dozens attend ‘Patriot Day’ ceremony at Virginia War Memorial to commemorate 9/11

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 2:53 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On Saturday morning, more than 100 people came to the Virginia War Memorial to remember and reflect on the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Governor Ralph Northam joined several speakers to reflect and remember the somber 20th anniversary.

“Amid the horror of it all, there was kindness,” Northam said. “In the outpouring of grief, there was tremendous sympathy.”

Dale Bowman attended the annual ceremony and says this is a day she will never forget.

After the attacks happened, Bowman decided to jump into action as a volunteer serving for the Salvation Army Disaster Team.

“It’s just like yesterday,” Bowman said. “After I saw it on T.V., I called Salvation Army and said I was ready.

The next morning, Bowman was on the ground of the Pentagon serving meals.

“I can do sandwiches really fast, so that was my job,” she said.

20 years later, Bowman carries an album with pictures of her and other volunteers on the front lines at the Pentagon and Ground Zero.

“It hurts my heart,” she said.

The ceremony featured Daniel Faul, a survivor of the Pentagon attack. One of Faul’s duty stops throughout his Navy career was accepting orders working on the staff of the Secretary of the Navy at the Pentagon. That day, Faul was in the West Wing when the attack happened and sustained numerous injuries.

Lt. Clarence Singleton also spoke during the ceremony about his own experience coming out of retirement to volunteer as a first responder at the World Trade Center.

“I started working with extinguishing fires around the perimeter of the North Tower,” he said.

Twenty years later, Singleton is serving as a board member for the Freedom Flag Foundation.

The Freedom Flag is Virginia’s official flag of remembrance for Sept. 11, 2001. Now, the Freedom Flag has reached all 50 states.

Singleton hopes this will be a day people will never forget the thousands of people who died.

“Just try to keep the memory of those who perished alive,” he said.

Bowman says this day also shares this lesson.

“Don’t take anything for granted because you could get up in the morning and it’d be gone,” she said.

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