This morning, the Camas-Washougal Fire Department held its annual ceremony commemorating the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The heartfelt event held in Camas, thousands of miles away from the East Coast where the attacks were focused, is an illustration of the widespread impacts of these events on the United States as a country. Similar ceremonies took place around America yesterday and this morning, from Vancouver to New York City.
During his speech to the crowd, C-W Fire Department Chief Nick Swinhart commented on some recent discussions held at the national level questioning whether such ceremonies should even take place — now 11 years after the attacks — or whether we should all just move on and try to forget. His answer, not surprisingly, was that the attacks and the people whose lives were lost as a result of them deserve recognition and remembrance.
Forgetting, or at least trying to, serves no purpose. But remembering can teach so much. It honors the thousands of people killed so brutally and senselessly that day, and brings to light that in an instant the way we live our lives as Americans changed forever in so many ways.
The citizens of Camas and Washougal should be proud that our local fire departments continue to mark this turning point in American history, and remember both the hundreds of fallen emergency personnel and thousands of civilians who died on Sept. 11, 2001.