Unity was the theme of a memorial service held in Columbus for the victims of the terrorist attacks that took place a dozen years ago in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Penn. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles produced this sound portrait of the remembrance at Columbus City Hall.
ANNOUNCER: "The mayor of the City of Columbus, Mayor Michael B. Coleman."
COLEMAN: "It was a very tough day for our nation. But you know, in times of crisis, that’s when we come together. And that’s when we come together in a way like we never have before. I don’t want us to lose the spirit that we had of unity…that we had during that period of time after 9/11. We came together on the steps of City Hall. Many of you can remember. Where elected officials, civic leaders, religious leaders stood there, white, black, Republican, Democrat. It didn’t matter, because we were all Americans...Muslims, Jews, everybody...stood there together and we said we stand here tonight because we love our country and we are going to take care of each other."
ANNOUNCER: "And now it is my pleasure to ask for our governor of this great state of Ohio to come up and say a few words."
KASICH: "Today we gather to mourn a great loss -- not the loss of our spirit but the loss of so many great Americans, who were caught in an effort to puncture and destroy the soul of the United States. And boy, do I agree with the mayor. We are a great country. We face many challenges. We are too divided. A house divided against itself will not stand, is what our great President Abraham Lincoln said. We have to unite...Republicans and Democrats and liberals and conservatives. And we have to unite to build a stronger America. The Lord wants it, because the Lord wants us to carry out our destiny -- to be a bright light and a shining example to the rest of the world about freedom and individual rights and the ability of people to realize their God given purposes and destinies.
ANNOUNCER: "Brigadier General John C. Harris."
HARRIS: "That was a day when parents picked up their children from school for no other reason than they just wanted to hold them. They weren’t even sure why. And I can imagine that when they picked up their children from school, on that day, the make, model, how fancy their car was, just really didn’t matter. Suddenly the square footage of our homes didn’t matter so much to us. We saw the very best in each other in contrast to assuming the very worst."