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We will never forget... September 11, 2001

Today is September 11, the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and elsewhere. Our remembrance ceremony had to be cancelled due to Hurricane Florence, but we still remember. Local Boy Scout leader James McIlrath shared the following message today....

"I was a little disappointed this morning when I left the house because of the cancellation of the two 9/11 Ceremonies scheduled ...today at the Unity Memorial due to Hurricane Florence. When I got to the Unity Memorial to lower the flags to half staff, I thought to myself, 'At least I got to do something today to remember the lives lost 17 years ago.'

"I am not sure where he came from, and I am not sure how long he was there before I noticed him, but I was joined by Randy, retired FDNY, who told me he had found out about our memorial just a short while ago. We paused at the North Tower Beam which is on one end of the site. Without saying anything he looked at it, and then he touched it. After a while he started telling me about how heavy those beams were and how they could only be moved as fast as the people with the cutting torches could tear them apart.

"As I had just gotten a new FDNY flag for the ceremonies today, I asked Randy if he would do the honor to raise and then lower the new FDNY flag to half staff for me. As we were standing there, a lady pulled up and walked around the memorial slowly. She told me how she had been at our original dedication ceremony so many years ago.

"As I drove away I saw a motorcycle pull up and a gentleman walked towards the memorial. Although there will be no large ceremonies held at the Unity Memorial today, I am comforted in the fact knowing that after 17 years we still remember, and that people still come to our Unity Memorial as a place to remember the lives lost. WE WILL NEVER FORGET."

-- James McIlrath
Vice Chair, Chicora District, Pee Dee Area Council, Boy Scouts of America

The attached image is a steel beam from the World Trade Center towers that's on display at the Unity Memorial on 29th Avenue North. It was donated to Myrtle Beach by retired New York firefighters, in appreciation of the hospitality our community showed them in the aftermath of 9-11.