Special Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Stadium Honors Those Lost on 9/11

By Jillian Petrus, Reporter

Daniel Spahn of Cedar Rapids listens to guests speak during the "Remember, Reflect and Respect Event" at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. The event was free to the public to reflect on the events of Sept. 11, 2001 with guests from the Cedar Rapids and eastern Iowa community. All attendees were invited to the field following the event for a group prayer. (David Scrivner/SourceMedia Group)

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By KCRG Intern

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Remember, Reflect, Respect. Eastern Iowans put those three words into practice on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks during a special ceremony at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.

The event lasted two hours featuring music, a three round volley to honor the fallen police officers and sounding of the bell thanking the fire fighters who gave their lives on that day.

“It meant a lot,” said Patrick Hoyt, a second year Cedar Rapids Firefighter. “It solidified the togetherness that the brotherhood still feels as firefighters, police officers and any other civil servant out there.”

The message of the ceremony, crafted by The Inter-Religious Council of Linn County, focused more on the future than the past asking Eastern Iowans to accept people from all walks of life and religious backgrounds. The council is made of leaders from different faiths throughout the community, many taking time to speak at the event.

The keynote speaker and MC for the event was Imam Taha Tawill of Cedar Rapids Mother Mosque. His presentation and message of acceptance resonated with those in attendance.

“So powerful, and I think it sends a great message and about peace,” said Jenny Bosking of Cedar Rapids who brought her son Gunnar Bosking to the event. “People need to be working together making sure things like this don’t happen again.”

Many people brought their families and young children to the stadium. That included David Triplett of Cedar Rapids. Triplett and his daughter participated in the Presentation of the Flag. He hoped his daughter understood the message of peace, now that we look back on the events that unfolded 10 years ago

“There’s always going to be a bad apple in the bunch,” said Triplett. “I think it was a hard for some people to swallow, but a message that should be expected.”

Tears were shed by many in the audience during a video commemorating 9/11 through photographs. Images we will never forget, but again Cedar Rapids Firefighter Hoyt and others want to look toward the future.

“Everyone needs to accept everyone,” he said, “not just because it’s 10 years after 9/11, but to make the world a better place we have to start accepting everybody."

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