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Lehighton UVO remembers 9/11

The Lehighton United Veterans Organization held a 9/11 Remembrance Service Friday to remember and pay tribute to the lives lost in the terrorist attack 19 years ago.

The ceremony began with the national anthem and an invocation given by UVO Chaplain Carl Haydt.

Retired Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Afghanistan veteran Lt. Col. Dennis DeMara then spoke.

He recounted the magnitude of the 9/11 attacks saying, “Today is Patriot Day, a national day of service and remembrance for almost 3,000 people who died 19 years ago. They were mostly Americans but also citizens from 78 different countries, so it affected the entire world.”

DeMara also expressed his gratitude to fight for and serve his country, saying, “I personally experienced the best of America in serving with soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines prosecuting the war day and night. It was the privilege and honor of my life.

“The Patriot Day Proclamation tells us to remember, to remember what happened that day and to look for ways to serve in our community. As citizens, we have rights and we have responsibilities,” DeMara said. “Our rights that were born by others of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should cause us to remember not only to honor those that sacrifice but for us, the living, it should add value to our lives today and every day that we see through a different lens the blessings and freedom of liberty we enjoy as citizens of this great country. Our responsibilities are to be involved in the community, to be involved with our families and to find ways to serve.”

UVO Cmdr. Kevin Long reflected on the events that took place that fateful day.

“To think, on this eve of this fateful day some prepared to get ready for their flights to their destinations. Packages and suitcases that will never get unpacked again. In the morning, they were ready to leave for their flights to unknown places only known to them. Others went to bed, to wake in their morning routines and report to work. Firefighters, police, emergency first responders began their shifts and military personnel were conducting business as usual. And so their day began.

“The global war on terrorism has been going on now for 19 years. Our military has continued to make our nation and our world a safer place by engaging these terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and other climes and places. To this day, over 7,000 men and women have given their lives in defense of our nation. We can never forget these sacrifices. That’s why we must always remember, pass this on to our generations that are coming up now. We have to learn from our history. History’s not a fairy tale. It’s not always pleasant, but it is what makes us The United States of America. It’s our resolve that makes us the greatest nation in the world.”

A bell ringing ceremony followed as well as a moment of silence to remember those affected by the attacks.

From left, Lt. Col. Dennis DeMara, Chaplain Carl Haydt, and Cmdr. Kevin Long at the 9/11 Remembrance Service held at Lehighton Veterans Memorial Park on Friday. LINDSEY BOWMAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS