Lessons from 9/11: Remember, honor, learn


September 11 is a day to remember, to honor, and to learn.

And each one of those exercises happened during the Powell 9/11 memorial ceremony on Monday morning at the Greater Powell Veterans Memorial.

Keynote speaker Christopher Blake Carver, a retired supervising dispatcher for the Fire Department of the City of New York, said he was both glad and saddened that so many had gathered for the local remembrance ceremony, “because, quite frankly, I don’t think we do a good job (of remembering Sept. 11, 2001).”

“But you do not need to hear this from me,” Carver said. “You already know it’s true even if I don’t say it, that we are at a point now in too many of our communities, and too many of our institutions, and too many of our places, where we have completely, utterly, seemed to forget the sacrifice that was made on that day and the lessons that they taught us. All of the people impacted on 9/11 taught us.”

Addressing the youth — most of whom were from nearby Village Academy — in the audience, Carver said that the tragedy of 16 years ago is fast becoming just another event in the annals of history.

“Every one of you … will know 9/11 the way that all the rest of us know Dec. 7, 1941 (attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II). Or the way the rest of us know the battleship (USS) Maine when it blew up in Havana (Cuba) Harbor (in 1898). Or the Civil War, or a hundred other things that we only know as letters on a calendar, or a day that we get off from work.”

In Carver’s opinion, what made New York City a prime target for terrorists in 2001 went much deeper than political ideology.

“What we saw on 9/11 was an attack against a city that, whether you realize it or not, represents the absolute best that this nation has to offer,” Carver stated. “And why? There are hundreds of languages spoken in New York City. There are hundreds of religions practiced in New York City. There are people of all national origins, all ways of life. A diverse melting pot exactly the way our Founding Fathers intended.”

Praising New York City’s first responders, Carver noted that they accomplished an unprecedented feat before the twin towers fell 16 years ago.

“They did something that’s never happened in American history, and I pray it never happens again,” he said. “They were put in a situation where they rescued 20,000 people. Twenty thousand people were helped out of those towers before they fell. I sincerely hope that nobody here will be put into a situation where you have to rescue 20,000 people, but you may have to rescue one.”

Carver concluded his remarks by telling the crowd that as important as it is to remember those who sacrificed themselves on 9/11, it’s equally important to be an active, contributing member of the community.

“As you leave here today, I challenge you to actually do something to pay forward and continue the tradition of service that was exemplified on that day,” Carver said. “If we allow ourselves to only see 9/11 as a moment to think about how much we fear others, how much others fear or hate us; if we allow 9/11 to be something we use as a wedge, as a fence, as something to separate us from other people, then we lose point in its entirety.”

Students from Village Academy — the vast majority of whom were born after Sept. 11, 2001 — played a key role in the morning’s events. Four students from the school’s Theatre Ensemble recited the Maya Angelou poem “Still I Rise.” The middle school choir and vocal ensemble and the middle and upper school band each performed during the ceremony.

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Christopher Carver, former supervising dispatcher for the Fire Department of New York, was the keynote speaker for the City of Powell and Liberty Township 9/11 memorial ceremony on Monday at the Greater Powell Veterans Memorial.
http://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/09/web1_CHRISTOPHER-CARVER-FDNY-RET.jpgChristopher Carver, former supervising dispatcher for the Fire Department of New York, was the keynote speaker for the City of Powell and Liberty Township 9/11 memorial ceremony on Monday at the Greater Powell Veterans Memorial.

Students from Village Academy bow their heads in prayer during the benediction of the City of Powell and Liberty Township 9/11 memorial ceremony on Monday at the Greater Powell Veterans Memorial. The vast majority of these children weren’t born when the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 occurred in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
http://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/09/web1_POWELL911-02-091217_1.jpgStudents from Village Academy bow their heads in prayer during the benediction of the City of Powell and Liberty Township 9/11 memorial ceremony on Monday at the Greater Powell Veterans Memorial. The vast majority of these children weren’t born when the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 occurred in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Carver: Pay forward, continue to serve

By Andrew Carter

acarter@delgazette.com

Contact Andrew Carter at 740-413-0900. Follow him on Twitter @DelOhioEditor.