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W.Va. Remembrance Events Honor 9/11 Victims

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Eric Douglas
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An American Flag planted at the 9/11 Memorial's Ground Zero in New York City

Events are set to take place across West Virginia this weekend in remembrance of the victims of 9/11. 2022 marks 21 years since the attack, which claimed the lives of at least five people with ties to the state.

One event being held in Princeton Sept. 10 is a memorial stair climb up 110 stories, organized by the Princeton Fire Department. It’s the second annual climb, with the first organized for the 20th anniversary last year. For first responders like Lt. Rick Shagoury, the event carries personal weight.

“We lost 343 firefighters and all these first responders. And being a first responder, it just hits home,” Shagoury said.

Registration for the climb is from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., with the climb itself starting at Hunnicutt Field at 9 a.m. and continuing until 1 p.m.

In Huntington, a vigil at the Healing Field at Spring Hill Cemetery is set up through Tuesday. Huntington native Paul Ambrose, who was on the flight that was crashed into the Pentagon, is buried there. Cemetery operations manager Eldora McCoy said these vigils have meaning for every local community affected.

“As other communities do theirs in their own way, this is our way to remember,” McCoy said.

Flags can be purchased at the cemetery for $35, with proceeds going to the cemetery’s Memorial Bell Tower fund. The vigil is also next to the site’s World Trade Center Artifact Memorial, which was constructed in 2017 from steel rails found at the site of the attack in New York. A ceremony is also set to take place at the cemetery at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Educational assemblies are also scheduled at schools around the state this week, including one at Westwood Middle School.

“Our students weren’t born yet when 9/11 occurred, so this opportunity is about raising awareness and bringing to life for them a very important moment in American history,” Westwood Principal John Conrad said in a news release.

Sen. Joe Manchin recognized the anniversary in a statement Friday.

“Each American grieved and felt the shock of our national vulnerability following the attacks, but we also experienced something else as a nation – our country learned of the great strength, bravery and character of our heroes who inspire us to this day. In the aftermath, we came together as a nation, showing we were united, resilient, and courageous in the face of tragedy,” Manchin said.

Alongside Ambrose, four others connected to the state died during the attacks, including Mary Lou Hague, Chris Gray, Jim Samuel and Shelly Marshall.

Eastern Panhandle Reporter, ssnyder@wvpublic.org, 304-449-4653

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