Candlelight ceremony held by Coaldale VFW
SHERI RYAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS VFW Quartermaster, Jerimiah Barkman, offers his remarks on the 9/11 attacks during a memorial service at the Coaldale VFW Post Home.
A candlelight memorial service was held by VFW Post #6982 and Ladies Auxiliary in Coaldale Wednesday night, to honor those who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
VFW Quartermaster, Jeremiah Barkman spoke of the impact the attacks had on our nation.
"There was no way that we could handle the seriousness of the situation when we first heard that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. And by the time the second plane hit the World Trade Center, we all knew that something was very wrong," said Barkman.
"There was a moment when we saw the towers fall, they collapsed a half an hour apart from each other, and in that moment when they disappeared from the skyline, there was something else that disappeared from all of us. Our sense of security, our sense of safety, had vanished. All of those years that we were safe here and fighting wars over there, that was no longer," he added.
Barkman went on to recount the pain, frustration, sorrow and anger we all felt that day.
"But by that next day, on the 12th of September, we had come together as a community; we had come together as a country. No one said on that day, 'I'm proud to be Irish,' or 'I'm proud to be Italian;' we all said 'I'm proud to be an American,'" said Barkman.
He then spoke of all of the flags that were displayed in every community across the country and how we had all become united.
Barkman also thanked God for all of the courageous emergency workers who sprang into action risking and in many cases losing their own lives "because without them, there would have been thousands more that would have perished on that day."
In closing, Barkman urged those in attendance to "Never forget the pain you felt that day. Never forget those memories. But never forget how we also came together."
The Rev. Dr. Wayne Benack, pastor of First Congregational Church, led those in attendance in prayer and Andrew Leibenguth read an accounting of the day's events. Mark Atkinson played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.
Refreshments were served to the crowd following the ceremony.