Southeast Iowa reflects on the 10th anniversary of 9/11
In southeast Iowa, residents remembered 9/11 in many different ways.
At 8:46 a.m. at the Iowa National Guard Armory in Ottumwa, where the 833rd Engineer Company is based, they chose to honor the lives lost that day, the first responders who sacrificed their lives to save others, the servicemen fighting abroad, and also a local citizen and police lieutenant who took his personal time to carve and build a trophy case that will forever showcase the achievements of the 833rd Engineer Company, whom according to the Company Commander Capt. Randy Hartley, may have to deploy to Afghanistan in the spring of 2013.
"We have received substantial assistance from the National Guard both during the 1993 and 2008 floods. Basically, they saved the community," said Lt. Mike Donough, of the Ottumwa Police Department.
"You just can't repay that kind of service. So this was the best we could come up with."
"This was no short feat," said Captain Randy Hartley, the Company Commander for the 833rd Engineer Company of the Iowa National Guard.
"It took a year for him to put all of this together and get it in place for us and we truly appreciate that. It sets the bar very high for other civilians and how they support not just the National Guard but soldiers in general. "
At 2 pm, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, students and community members attended a memorial service. Thinking about the day almost drew the service coordinator Erin Edwards to tears as her hometown on the New Jersey outskirts of New York City was deeply shaken by the tragedy. She said she planned the event because even though people in Iowa may not know anyone directly affected by 9/11, she says it's still important they they take time to reflect on what happened that day.
"We are all apart of this country and even though you may not have known the people in the towers, they were still your brothers, your sisters."
Then at 3 p.m., the citizens of Ottumwa came to the city's Central Park to be introduced to a peace pole. The temporary pole was on display but the citizens took the time to reunite and focus on the idea that perhaps one day, peace will prevail on earth, just as the writing on the pole says.