Conover remembers 9/11 attacks

Staff Writer

“Some may ask the question about 9/11 – there were so many horrible events that happened that day, why would you want to remember,” said Chaplain Don Bledsoe during his welcome at the city of Conover’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony held on Sunday at Conover Station. “We remember because we don’t want it ever to happen again and realize how precious, how vital and how dear those liberties are to each and every one of us.”
Over 50 individuals including law enforcement officers and emergency service personnel from the city of Conover and other municipalities attended the ceremony.
Chaplain Don Bledsoe delivered the welcome and invocation, Rev. Ron Carson led attendees in singing both “Amazing Grace” and “God Bless America.” Chaplain Helen Bledsoe read from the both the Old Testament and New Testament, Chaplain Ken Mann and Rev. Joe Dillard both delivered words of remembrance during the ceremony which began at 8:30 a.m.
As Conover Mayor Lee Moritz, Jr. lead the pledge of allegiance, he asked the attendees to think about the words and rededicate themselves to being “one America under God.”
During his opening remarks, Moritz said that he hoped next year’s ceremony will be held outside on the lawn alongside the traveling Vietnam Memorial which will be in Conover from Sept. 9-12, 2017.
“As time goes on the memory starts fading and this is what this memorial service is all about – to rededicate ourselves not only to our community but to the nation,” said Moritz.
Moritz told the story of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Marc Sasseville and Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney who were both stationed at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly on a mission to bring down United Airlines Flight 93.
It would have been a kamikaze mission – not only would both Sasseville and Penney die but also all those on Flight 93.
“I think about that day and what must have been going through their heads,” Moritz said. “It’s amazing to me – this day is very important to me.”
As it turned out, Sasseville and Penney did not need to shoot down Flight 93 because the passengers on Flight 93 took matters into their own hands and forced the airliner to crash in Pennsylvania before the pilots ever encountered them.
Moritz shared how the city of Conover was able to get a piece of the World Trade Center which now sits on the ground floor of Conover Station.
The relic is not under glass but available to be touched by anyone that passes by.
“I invite you to stop and look at the display and touch it on your way out,” Moritz said.
The word “remember” means “to come back together” which is what the city of Conover has done for every year on the anniversary of 9/11.