EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSNation, West Virginia Honor 9/11; Local Homeland Security Employee Recalls Day
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Katelyn Sykes
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Associated Press
Reported: Sep. 11, 2013 7:58 AM EDT
Updated: Sep. 11, 2013 6:35 PM EDT
On Wednesday, people across the country remembered the lives lost 12 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001.
Services were held in the morning honoring the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks. There were emotional tributes in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon and cities across the country.
In Charleston, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin placed a wreath at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the state Capitol and held a moment of silence.
It was a somber moment for Frank Kennedy.
"It was a pretty hard day for me when I look back on it," Kennedy said.
Kennedy works for the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, but on Sept. 11, 2001, he was an officer for the East Hampton New York Police Department.
"A call came out from NYPD that any law enforcement officer from New York or New Jersey were asked to respond if they could," Kennedy said.
Kennedy along with nine other officers responded. When they arrived at the scene, the World Trade Center towers were still burning. He said people were in a state of shock and confusion. For 36 hours, they guarded the Trade Center site to keep onlookers out. Not only did he see firsthand the devastation from the attack, but he lost 11 friends who were first responders just like him.
"It's an exceedingly tough day, a day that I probably don't watch the news at all," he said. "I lost six friends that were NYPD officers and five friends that were FDNY officers -- people that I grew up with and had known my whole life."
Considering the huge amount of loss, Kennedy and Tomblin said it's important that residents throughout the country come together on the 12th anniversary to say they will never forget.
"They were innocent people just going about their everyday lives like they always had and the fact that they were taken away from us," Tomblin said. "I think it's very important that we all show our support for the families, support for the first responders to help the families continue to heal even after all of these years."
Kennedy said he thinks it is something "every American should be concerned about and remember because there were people running in when everyone else was running out and that's the nature of first responders."
To be closer to his son and family, Kennedy retired from the East Hampton Police Department and moved to West Virginia.
In West Virginia, numerous events were planned to mark the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered all United States and state flags at all state facilities to be displayed at half-staff Wednesday to commemorate Patriot Day, National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Tomblin has asked all West Virginians to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Wednesday to honor the innocent victims who perished 12 years ago. At 9:30 a.m., Tomblin will lay a wreath at the West Virginia Fallen Firefighters' Memorial, on the state Capitol grounds.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama will observe the anniversary with a moment of silence and a visit to the Pentagon Memorial.
Obama on Wednesday will join first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Jill Biden and members of the White House staff in a moment of silence at 8:45 a.m. on the White House South Lawn.
The president will then attend a Sept. 11 observance at the Pentagon.
In the afternoon, Obama will take part in a service project to commemorate the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
AP contributed to this report.
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