Former Congressman Todd Rokita urged Americans to keep alive the memory of Sept. 11, 2001, as the community paused Wednesday to commemorate the victims and heroes of the nation’s darkest day.
“We who are here now must share our own memories with those who were born after that day,” Rokita said in remarks during the annual memorial service at First United Pentecostal Church. “And the ones who were children 18 years ago will have a duty to share their memories with future generations because we must never forget the values that make America what it is.”
Dignitaries, public safety officers, Boy Scouts and veterans were among those gathered at the Sept. 11 Ten Commandments memorial for the service. Wabash College’s T-Tones glee club sang patriotic music and led the crowd in “God Bless America.”
The ceremony also honored military, first responders, law enforcement, firefighters and veterans.
“We remember the moments of shock and horror on that tragic day, replaced with emptiness and questions,” Rev. Philip Jordan said during a prayer.
Rokita, who said his young son is just beginning to ask questions about the attacks, recalled the first responders who rescued and treated victims and Americans filling churches “up to the back pew” to make sense of the events.
“In a very real way, the generation born just before 9/11 came in this world seeing America at its best. That was their first impression of this country,” he said.