Danville community commemorates 22nd anniversary of 9/11

Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 4:44 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The community gathered with the Danville Lifesaving Crew to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of 9/11.

The ceremony began at 8:46 Monday morning, when the first plane hit the North Tower on September 11, 2001.

The program started with a moment of silence, followed by a toll of the bells and posting of colors by the city’s joint honor guard.

“For me, it’s very heartening to see that we haven’t forgotten,” said Paul Lima, Retired U.S. Army Major General. “I thought this was a very important and moving ceremony today. So, I appreciate this very much.”

Paul Lima was on the opposite side of the Pentagon from where the airplane hit that day, one floor below ground level.

“The door blew open from where we were. There was this tremendous change in pressure, kind of like being in an airplane, and having that airplane drop, let’s say 500 feet or so. When we came outside of the building, we looked up in the sky. You could see that the roof of the Pentagon was all ablaze. We tried to get on the cell phones, and that was impossible. All the cell phone lines were down completely,” explained Lima.

Leaders and community members gave speeches and prayed for those affected by that day. The Mayor made a call to action to love and care for each other despite differences, support first responders, and never forget.

“We had a great crowd today,” said Robbie Woodall, Chief of the Danville Life Saving Crew. “The people that turned out to honor our responders locally and nationally for what has happened and what they do every day now. Everybody puts themselves in harm’s way more and more every day.”

Students in the George Washington High School Marching Band and Choir also performed the National Anthem and God Bless America.

“I think people need to understand and remember the people’s lives that were lost and what they did. I think that we need to let the young people know the sacrifices of 9/11 and how it changed the world forever,” added Woodall.