Maine leaders urge reflection on 9/11
AUGUSTA, Maine—As flags flew at half-staff, Mainers marked the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while elected officials urged people to reflect on the tragedy but not lose sight of keeping the country secure.
"The terrorists who hijacked our skies, attempted to attack the White House, and flew planes into both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were on a mission to weaken our resolve and instill fear in our hearts," Gov. Paul LePage said in a statement. "America's courage was tested that day, but we answered the call."
The anniversary was observed in communities throughout the state. Auburn and Lewiston marked the times the planes struck the World Trade Centers' twin towers, Auburn with an honor guard presentation by firefighters at 8:46 a.m., and Lewiston by ringing the station bell 15 times at 9:59 a.m.
Food drives were held in Portland and Westbrook, the Brewer Fire Department displayed two pieces of metal from the World Trade Center and a blood drive was held at the Augusta Civic Center.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who is ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, issued a statement urging Americans to pledge to never forget what was lost that day. But Collins added that "we must in the same breath pledge to do all that we can to prevent future attacks. We can offer no such guarantee, but it must be our goal."
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud said it was a day to thank all of the first responders, service members, veterans and everyday Americans who acted heroically on behalf of their fellow citizens.
"We remember not only what they did, but how they moved all of us, brought us together, and continue to impact our nation," Michaud said.
Fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said everybody remembers what they were doing on 9/11.
"But we must also take this opportunity to remember all that has happened in the years since then and all the men and women who have sacrificed and served to keep our country safe," Pingree said.