Veterans commemorate anniversary of 9/11 attacks

09/11/08 Seán Kinane
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The Veterans Council of Hillsborough County commemorated the seventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001n attacks with a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park east of Tampa.

Following a three-gun salute, a recorded version of Taps was played over the public address system. About 70 veterans and others remembered the nearly 3,000 victims of the 2001 attacks with salutes, flags and speeches.

Major General Michael Diamond, director of the Coalition Coordination Center for U.S. Central Command at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base, talked about the effects of the attack.

“What the terrorists could not have predicted was that once we let the fear run its course, we did not remain a prisoner to it. … [We] united as an alliance that was angry, proud, and determined to beat back the forces that had attacked the United States that day. Nowhere was this more evident than at U.S. military recruiting offices.”

Diamond’s colleague, Air Admiral Dick Nealons is a New Zealand representative of the coalition. During his time in Tampa, Nealons said he has “had the opportunity to see what the world as a group can do to fight the war on terror.”

Michelle Todd, special assistant to Gov. Charlie Crist, read a proclamation by the governor commemorating what some call “Patriot Day.”

Members of the audience, including active duty military personnel and veterans, laid wreaths and roses in honor of the victims while color guards stood at attention. Pat Schenck, who is the Hillsborough County Veterans Council chaplain, gave the invocation.

Many of the speakers and people WMNF interviewed at the veterans event endorsed the Bush administration’s military responses to the attacks. In contrast, in an East Tampa business district, there was a mixed reaction. Some people, like Maurice Crawford, said that military attacks on Iraq or Afghanistan were inappropriate reactions to the 9/11 attacks.

Donell Houston said the 2001 attacks were a bad thing that affected everybody.

Photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

The Veterans Council of Hillsborough County

The Buffalo Soldiers Woods & Wanton Chapter, Inc. of Tampa Bay

MacDill Air Force Base

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