WSCC holds 9/11 memorial

CHAD PLAUCHE-ADKINS The Marietta Times Members of the Marine Corps League Det. #1436 salute the flag as it is raised to half-staff on Tuesday during a 9/11 memorial ceremony at Washington State Community College.

As the sun broke through the low hanging clouds Tuesday morning, the flag outside Washington State Community College was raised to half-staff in remembrance of those who had fallen during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Members of the community, local first responders and veterans gathered at the college in order to acknowledge the sacrifices that so many Americans made that day.

Approximately 100 people were solemnly massed around the main flagpole to hear featured speakers discuss the impact the attack had on their community and country.

“Resilience,” is what the country showed in the aftermath, said U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio.

“It’s where we came from. We had to fight a brutal fight just to gain our freedoms…since (the U.S. entered World War I in) 1917 we have been the guardian to the gates of that freedom,” Johnson said. “The reason we fight wars over there is to keep it from happening here. We don’t want another 9/11.”

Amanda Herb, vice president of institutional advancement at Washington State Community College, said 17 years later she remembers the patriotism that Americans felt during that time.

CHAD PLAUCHE-ADKINS The Marietta Times Citizens and veterans gather to honor those that were lost on 9/11 in a ceremony Tuesday at Washington State Community College.

“9/11 brought a really important perspective about coming together as a country. This memorial also brings the valuable service our first responders and military provide for us to the light,” said Herb.

The ceremony featured three speakers. Susan Vessels, a WSCC board member and veteran, described the local impact of the attack. She talked about the pain people in the area felt after losing one of their own in the attack, Mary Lou Hague, who had lived in Parkersburg.

The final speaker of the morning was Daniel Baker. The WSCC alum and veteran emotionally reminisced about the feeling of patriotism the nation felt when the attacks took place. He equated that feeling to the current social divide that exists in the nation.

“It shouldn’t take a tragedy to bring us together as a country,” Baker said.

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