JONESBORO, Ark- Members of the community gathered here today to honor all first responders, service members, and those who died in 9/11.
The Elks Lodge and VFW hosts a patriot’s day ceremony held a moment of silence for those who died in September 11th.
But we also got to hear from one 9/11 survivor, an Arkansas native.
“The passing of time is pretty incredible. I was thinking next year is going to be 20 years and I still in many respects feel very young but, I come to the realization that no there’s been 20 years that’s passed and there should be some wisdom that’s gained and life lessons learned from September 11th.”
Says Piggott native and survivor, Adam Staples.
Staples reflects on his memories of September 11th.
He was in New York city training to be a stockbroker and on 9/11 was on the 61st floor of the World Trade Center’s south tower when the second plane hit.
Staples made it out of the tower and later that day was able to contact his family to tell them he was safe.
Robert b. Murphy Jr, organizer of the event, says today puts things in perspective.
“Like Adam said, small-town Arkansas this impacted every town…Arkansas was no exception to that,” says Murphy. “We had three people, I had no idea until I got involved that we had three people, Arkansans that day until I got involved here. Putting it into perspective, that could have been me, you, or your cameraman or someone you know. But it was an Arkansan and an American.”
The ceremony also included singing, prayers, presentation of the colors by the Arkansas National Guard, and a proclamation from Gov. Hutchinson.
Staples says even 19 years later the events that took place on 9/11 do not make sense.
In his speech, staples spoke on how the country united following the 9/11 attacks.
And how he believes the country can once again unite during these troublesome times.
“Unity is a tricky thing. We look toward military solutions, political solutions we look for movements that are going to some way or another force unity on people,” says Staples. “Personally, the only unity we can have to bring everyone together is a change of heart.”
The Elk Lodge has hosted this event for 19 years and they say they will continue to host it for years to come.
Saying this is a day we need to remember for all years to come.