KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — A ceremony at Grainger Stadium in Kinston has honored the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks for 20 years ago. Saturday’s annual ceremony focused on unity.
Several first responders spoke at the service including Kinston Mayor Don Hardy. Speakers stressed the importance of unity in our county.
“We have to get back to making sure we work together, no matter what, because we’re stronger by working together,” said Hardy.
Several first responders spoke about how the 9/11 attacks inspired so many young men and women to enlist in the military or other emergency services. National Guard Master Sgt. Wells Hayes felt he needed to give back. He joined the National Guard in 2006.
“Everybody has an opinion, and everybody’s opinion is valid. But because of the difference in opinion, I think it is where conflict comes from. But at the end of the day, everybody wants to be peaceful and for everybody to get along,” Hayes said.
Plaques were awarded to representatives from local first responders like Maj. Ryan Dawson with the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office.
“The event (Saturday) is to honor the people that lost their lives. Those people that day just got a call and they went. Their ultimate sacrifice is the most important thing we need to remember and what they did that day,” said Dawson.
The Greenville Public Safety Pipes and Drums performed in honor of the event. The Marine Corps and National Guard presented the colors.
Hardy also said this event has a special place in the community’s hearts because many citizens of Kinston lost family along the East Coast that day.