DUNBAR, WV (WOWK) – Honoring the victims of 9/11 may look different for many this year. But, it doesn’t take away from the meaning of “Patriot Day.”
People from across the Mountain State are paying their respects in their own way – including Gold Star Families.
“Remembering our sons and daughters… they joined the military because of that day and so many of our military still suffer because of PTSD,” said Shirley White, Gold Star Mother.
State leaders, including Senator Joe Manchin, took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the West Virginia Veterans Cemetery. Alongside him was Medal of Honor Recipient Herschel “Woody” Williams.
“From that day forward, we have been vigilant. It’s changed how we fly, how we do business, and basically all of us responsible for being vigilant to make sure people aren’t trying to do harm to any American,” said Manchin (D).
The annual Ride of Fallen Service Heroes that Manchin usually holds was canceled due to COVID-19. However, he and others still drove around to pay tribute to a number of Gold Star Monuments.
Gold Star Families say they still remember their thoughts when the first plane hit 19 years ago.
“Are we being attacked? What’s going to happen? I was concerned about my two sons who were deployed at that time. And just like everyone else…uncertain,” explained Stan White, Gold Star Father.
But in a time where we still have much uncertainty, 9/11 continues to be a day that we will never forget.
“For my generation, it’s a day we learned about like John F. Kennedy and the assassination. Those are things that are just embellished in your brain. You remember that forever,” White said.