City of Monroe, first responders hold 9/11 ceremony
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - It’s a day this country will never forget.
On Friday, Monroe leaders and first responders continued their tradition of honoring the people that lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
“19 years ago seems like a long time. But for the family members that lost loved ones on September 11th, it seems like yesterday,” said Interim Monroe Police Chief Eugene Ellis.
Guest speaker LSP Senior Trooper Andy Stephenson was in New York the day of the attacks and shared a very personal story on what he saw that day.
“I will never forget the sight of people holding hands while plummeting to certain death,” said Stephenson.
Stephenson was a sergeant and kennel master in the Marine Corps, and was assigned to assist the Secret Service in New York back in 2001.
On the morning of 9/11, he and his K-9 were at Central Park before he was scheduled to go to the World Trade Center. For some reason she refused to listen to any of his commands and forced Stephenson to miss his train.
By the time he finally arrived, the first tower had just been hit.
“I looked up to tower one, and at first glance I thought it was trash and debris falling from the building, but on closer inspection I realized it was people jumping,” said Stephenson.
Stephenson stayed in New York for the next 14 days to assist in recovery and provide explosive dog support.
“Since then I’ve come to appreciate while dog spelled backwards is God, and also why they’re called man’s best friend,” said Stephenson.
He ended his story with one final message.
“Today as we come here to remember those brave men and women that lost their lives doing the job they loved as well as all of those that perished in the towers, I challenge each of you to love your neighbor just a little bit more,” said Stephenson.
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