MARSHALL - It's a date that will forever stand out for Americans. But speakers at a prayer service Tuesday morning said the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was both a time to look back, and a time to look forward.
Services commemorating 9/11 were at Memorial Park in Marshall. The memorial, which includes a segment of steel beam from one of the Twin Towers, was dedicated last year on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes told an audience of more than 100 people that annual memorials will continue to be observed there.
After a prayer led by the Rev. Coleen Tully, a red, white and blue floral wreath was hung on the memorial by Marshall Fire Chief Marc Klaith and Public Safety Director Rob Yant. Byrnes said the wreath honors the sacrifices made by emergency responders on 9/11 and the thousands of lives lost that day.
Photos by Deb Gau
Marshall resident Craig Schafer spoke to Marshall Middle School students visiting Memorial Park for Tuesday’s prayer service and encouraged kids to reach out and touch the beam.
Byrnes also encouraged audience members to spend some time in reflection at the monument and learning about its symbolism. The beam tilts slightly toward New York City, and different colored pavers represent each of the people who died in the attacks, he said.
"It is a place that really does have meaning," he said.
The crowd gathered for the service included area residents, members of the Marshall Fire Department and other emergency responders and two classes of eighth-grade students from Marshall Middle School. The students, too young to remember the terror attacks in 2001, answered questions from their teachers and later walked up to the memorial.
With encouragement from Marshall resident Craig Schafer, who helped bring the beam to Marshall, several students reached out to touch the beam.