Sixteen years after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Chapel Hill and Carrboro held local events in remembrance of 9/11.
The Town of Chapel Hill held a remembrance service at 8:30 a.m. at the Chapel Hill Town Hall, which also included Orange County and Carrboro. Fire, public safety, the sheriff’s department, EMS, elected officials, town staff and local residents came together to remember the tragic events that took place on 9/11.
Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said it's important to recognize those who rose to the occasion to help.
“We want to honor the people who both perished in the event and the first responders who rose to the occasion and went to help,” Hemminger said. “We have our own first responders and public safety officials and everyone here who risked their lives all the time to help others.”
“I think it’s important to acknowledge their service and their commitment to all of this.”
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA hosted Car Wash for Cops, an event that allowed all local law enforcement to bring their cars to be washed by staff and volunteers. Greg Lee, spokesperson for the Carrboro YMCA, said it was a way to thank first responders.
“We feel like one of the great things that we try to remember on 9/11 is the bravery and the dedication that first responders have to our community,” Lee said. “The image of first responders racing towards the danger of the World Trade Center, of the Pentagon, is just a reminder that these first responders put themselves in harm's way every day to protect our community, so we just wanted to say thank you.”
About 20 staff and volunteers helped with the car wash, Lee said. The car wash also had a cookout and people brought potluck dishes for the cops to eat while they waited for their car to be washed.
This was the first year the Carrboro YMCA has done this specific activity for 9/11, but Lee said they try to do something to remember it every year.
Austin Morrel, senior media and journalism major at UNC, said it is important to remember the events of 9/11.
“It’s kind of a turning point in our history with our international military campaigns, and at a more basic level than that, a lot of American lives were lost that day,” Morrel said. “I always think back to where I was on 9/11, coming home from first grade with my mom telling me what had happened.”
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