On Sept. 11, 2001, two days before her 15th birthday, Christina Sharp reflected on the day’s events in her diary.
“All that we hold near and dear to our hearts was attacked by an evil force that had no regard for life,” she wrote, “they will never have any regard for our faith, our family and our freedom. They will never have regard for life.”
Sharp is part of a generation of Americans who came of age in a time of war, when more than half of her graduating high school class served with the military overseas.
About a year after the attacks she was inspired to create a monument of the Ten Commandments in the shape of the World Trade Center towers, which sits on the grounds of her church The Pentecostals of Crawfordsville. The church hosts an annual 9/11 ceremony there.
“I remember how patriotic this country was [on Sept. 12, 2001],” Sharp said in remarks during Saturday’s event marking the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
“That patriotism is still there, but there are people who want us to forget what happened on Sept. 12 and we can’t let that happen,” she added, “because there’s an old saying that says that people that fail to remember their past are destined to repeat it in the future.”
The ceremony also pays tribute to law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel, who were represented. Montgomery County Veterans Service Officer Joe Ellis was also on hand to provide resources for local veterans.
The event has become a yearly ritual for Kathy Welliver, her sister Cassandra Milam and their mother Janet DeMumbrum, who all listened as Sharp’s mother Sharon played “God Bless America” on a saxophone.
“The world’s a small place,” said Welliver, who at the time of the attacks was neighbors with a woman whose son was in one of the towers.
“We just want to come and remember, and thank all of the officers,” Milam added.