Unity was the theme of a memorial service held in Columbus for the victims of the terrorist attacks that took place a dozen years ago in New York City, Washington D. C. and Shanksville Pennsylvania.
Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles produced this sound portrait of the remembrance at Columbus City Hall.
(Opens with singing of national anthem)
Anncr – The mayor of the City of Columbus, Mayor Michael B. Coleman
Coleman – It was a very tough day for our nation. But you know in times of crisis, that’s when we come together. And that’s when we come together in a way that we never have before. I don’t want us to lose the spirit that we had of unity….the spirit that we had during that period of time after 9/11. We came together on the steps of city hall where elected officials, civic leaders, religious leaders, white, black, Republican, Democrat. It really didn’t matter because we were all Americans….muslims, jews, everybody…stood there together and we said we stand here tonight because we love our country and we are going to take care of each other.
Anncr – And now I’m going to ask for our Governor of this great state of Ohio to say a few words.
Kasich – Today we gather to mourn a great loss – not the loss of our spirit but the loss of so many great Americans who were caught in an effort to puncture and destroy the soul of the United States. And boy do I agree with the mayor. We are a great country. We face too many challenges. We are too divided. A house divided against itself will not stand is what our great President Abraham Lincoln said. We have to unite….Republicans, Democrats, Liberals and conservative. We have to unite to build a stronger America because the Lord wants it. The Lord wants us to carry out our destiny – to be a bright light and a shining example to the rest of the world about freedom and individual rights and the ability of our people to realize their God given purposes and destinies.
Anncr – Brigadier General John C. Harris
Harris – That was a day when parents picked up their children from school for no other reason than they just wanted to hold them. They weren’t even sure why. And I can imagine that when they picked up their children from school, the make, model, how fancy their car was, just really didn’t matter. Suddenly the square footage of our homes just didn’t matter so much to us. We saw the very best in each other in contrast to assuming the very worst.....
(fade up bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace”)