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Hastings Fire hosts 19th annual 9/11 memorial at Duncan Field

American Flag is brought in at the start of the ceremony by a member of Hastings Fire and Rescue.
American Flag is brought in at the start of the ceremony by a member of Hastings Fire and Rescue.(Hailey Mach, KSNB)
Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Twenty years ago, the devastating 9/11 attacks where hundreds of Americans had lost their lives. Community members gathered out at the Duncan Field in Hastings Saturday afternoon to remember those who had fallen during the incident.

Hastings Fire and Rescue hosted a 20-year memorial ceremony involving a number of events to keep the memories alive that happened on that historical day.

The ceremony began with a Presentation of Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance. Crowd members stood with their hands above their hearts, remembering the true purpose behind pledging to the American flag and those it represents. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer was said and those who came out to the ceremony were welcomed. Next, came the traditional Tolling of the Bells, where a bell was rang five times in a row to remember lives of the 343 first responders that died that day.

Hastings Mayor Corey Stutte spoke during the ceremony and found reasons to remember the good things that have come out of the tragedy.

“I think it’s changed a lot of our lives in the 20 years,” Stutte said. “Some of us have joined the military, some of us have became first responders, there are a lot of things that have inspired people to go out and do good things that came out of such a terrible day 20 years ago.”

The Table of the Fallen was added for the first time in the 19 years the ceremony had been held. The table was set up with a number of symbolic items of those who were directly affected by 9/11. Hastings Fire Captain Darin Clark said they’ve added this feature to the ceremony for a reason.

“Its a way to honor those who aren’t with us anymore,” Clark said. “Today, our table has three place settings, one is for law enforcement, one is for fire-rescue and one is for our armed forces.”

Stutte reminded people why it’s important to hold events remembering the day each year.

“Whether it was New York, D. C., Pennsylvania or the global War on Terror, since then, I think that it’s important to recognize what happened, we never forget and we continue to move forward as a country together,” Stutte said.

The 9/11 ceremony finished up with a closing prayer as well as a Taps performance from the Hastings High School band.

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