Around fifty firefighters, policemen, and other first responders marched in a ceremony Sunday afternoon at the Arkansas State Capitol commemorating the 10th anniversary of September 11. They were joined by several hundred cheering supporters, including Gov. Mike Beebe, Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Congressman Tim Griffin and former Congressman Asa Hutchinson.
"Ten years ago today, Americans were rocked from their daily routines as news from the terrorist attacks against our great nation began to unfold," said Darr. "More than three thousand people lost their lives that day in those attacks; three were native Arkansans. Sarah Lowe of Batesville was a flight attendant working aboard American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Melissa White of Bald Knob was at her desk on the highest floors of that tower in the first building struck in the cowardly attack. Operations Specialist Second Class Nehamon Lions IV of Pine Bluff was a sailor serving his country at The Pentagon. And Californian Tom Burnett – his widow Deena Burnett Bailey lives in Arkansas – was one of the brave passengers who decided to crash United Airlines Flight 93 in a field in Pennsylvania rather than allow it to be used as an instrument of destruction."
"This country – these people that make up America – have always responded to the crisis with the kind of unity, force, and resolve that absolutely stuns the rest of the world," said Beebe. "They don’t realize; they don’t know that you can’t subjugate or bow our people. And just like a fighter who takes one to the chin once in a while, you might reel a little bit, but you come back stronger. And unlike that fighter who quits or falls, America never does."
"My hope today – and I hope your hope today – is that going forward America can rekindle that spirit of unity that we saw after 9/11, that we can decide as a people there is no obstacle we cannot overcome, that as Americans we have always faced each challenge and each generation has risen to the occassion to do what’s best not only for ourselves, but for our prosperity. And so my hope today is that while we honor those we have lost, mourn with the families that have suffered so badly, pay honor and tribute to those who protect and serve us, that we are rekindle in our own hearts that idea that in the final analysis we are all one people, we are all one country, we are all Americans. And God bless the United States of America," Beebe said.