Columbia County honors fallen terrorist victims



Attending Saturday’s Remembering 9/11 ceremony at dusk at the Columbia County Am­phitheater gave Karenann Amster one more reason to be thankful for the nation she served in the Armed Forces.

“This is about freedom,” Amster said. “It makes you respect the U.S.A. I’m glad I’m an American.”

Amster was one of hundreds of people who attended the ceremony honoring the memory of the nearly 3,000 people, especially the firefighters, police officers and other first-responders, who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Ten years ago, the world was stunned. We watched with our own eyes the horrific events no one could anticipate, could prevent or stop or do anything at all,” said Ron Cross, the Columbia County Commission chairman.

Cross said the American people proved their resiliency and strength to the world the day of the attacks.

During the ceremony, Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue Chief Doug Cooper presented a firefighter helmet worn by a New York City firefighter that Tuesday.

“Going in, those guys knew there was a good chance they would not make it out alive. It was their job. None of those guys said, ‘No, they weren’t going to do this.’ Nobody backed out, and 343 lost their lives,” Cooper said.

The ceremony ended with the sound of bagpipes as Bob Williamson played Amazing Grace.

A slideshow depicted photographs as the planes crashed into the Twin Towers, and then fell. Other photographs showed first-responders and survivors covered in ash and dust.

After the ceremony, the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s big band, Full Spectrum, played a concert.