Mesquite, TX – September 11, 2020 – The City of Mesquite held a private, sunrise memorial today to commemorate “Patriot Day” which is the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Out of an abundance of caution and in line with the guidance regarding social distancing, this year’s 9/11 Memorial was not a public event. The public is encouraged to visit Mesquite Freedom Park at the Mesquite Arts Center later today or watch the ceremony online.
Here is the speech that was given by Mayor Bruce Archer:
September 11, 2020
9/11 Ceremony at Mesquite Freedom Park
Good morning. Thank you for joining us for the City of Mesquite’s annual 9/11 Memorial. To begin I would like to offer a prayer.
Now, it is my distinct honor to request the Presentation of Colors by our combination of Fire and Police Color Guard.
Please join me in our Pledge of Allegiance.
On this morning in 2001, thousands of our fellow countrymen woke up to go to work and provide for their families and meet their responsibilities.
As they got ready for work, perhaps had breakfast - their last meal ever - and said goodbye to their loved ones - they simply had no idea that they would soon perish in one of the most evil and dastardly attacks our nation has ever endured.
Indeed, on this morning in 2001, “freedom was attacked” as President George W. Bush said that morning - and in the most brutal and cruel fashion.
Most of us remember well that difficult and unprecedented morning.
We remember the pain of seeing poor souls falling from the windows of the twin towers because the heat from the fire was too much to bear.
We remember the serious resolve in the faces of the firefighters and police officers who were running into the Twin Towers - many who would never come back out.
We remember the many fearful citizens on the streets of New York as they watched the terror unfold.
We remember the pain and concern in President Bush’s face when he was first told of the first tower that was hit.
We remember seeing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and members of the armed forces pulling injured bodies away from a smoldering Pentagon.
And we remember the sobering feeling later that day when I saw the wreckage of Flight 93 on that lonely field in Pennsylvania.
President Bush most eloquently said of that time:
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls and the funerals of children.”
And while we should never forget that awful day - we also must not forget the blessing and goodness that came from those fateful moments.
We must never forget the bravery and courage of those first responders who willingly and without hesitation, ran towards danger to save lives.
We must never forget the immense compassion and mercy shown by both Americans as well as citizens from around the world that day, who all came together to support our nation in that difficult moment.
And we must never forget the tremendous unity our nation experienced from 9/11 and the weeks that followed that day - a unity we’ve not seen since WWII.
Let us reflect on the image of members of United States Congress on the front steps of the capital - many who had just hours before - been fighting hard political battles on the House and Senate floors - all assembled together singing “God Bless America.”
Let us reflect on the moment before President Bush addressed Congress days after the attacks, as he walked to the speaker’s rostrum - the sincere and loving brotherly hugs between him and leaders of political opposition.
Indeed, let us reflect on how from the ashes and pain of that day - America came together - resolved in unity and purpose that we would not let that attack on freedom stand.
Let us remember the bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who would spend the next several years fighting terror around the world and who would eventually deliver justice and bring down the evil mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
Today as we convene around this beautiful Mesquite Freedom Park that displays the important and most historic events of that day - let us reflect on those events.
Let us reflect on the fact that such days are a reminder that God can take any difficult situation - and turn it into something beautiful.
At this time, I would ask for a 30-second into the moment of silence, followed by:
- “The Ringing of the Bell” - located next to beam from one of the towers of the World Trade Center attacked on 9/11.
- The Police Officers’ Prayer recited by Police Chief Charles Cato.
- And the Firefighters’ Prayer by Fire Chief Mark Kerby
As our nation endures tragedy, struggle and division during this period of our history, let us look back to the lessons of how we came together during the period of 9/11.
Let us take time today to remember the goodness of America.
Let us take this time today to remember that America has always been an imperfect place - and yet we are a nation who seeks to continue striving to build a more perfect union.
When we come together as one people like we did this day 19 years ago, we can overcome any obstacles and we can accomplish greater things than we ever imagined possible.
Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 Pilot Jason Dahl, said it better than anyone I believe, when she expressed:
“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”
May God bless each of you today – the people of Mesquite, and may He bless the United States of America.
We will now close this 9/11 Memorial program with the playing of “Amazing Grace.”