9/11 remembrance ceremonies were held across the nation Tuesday including in the Rochester area, where students, staff, first responders and veterans gathered at the MCC campus in Brighton.
The rumble of motorcycles from the Patriot Guard were among the sounds and sights at the MCC ceremony. That volunteer group often comes to events involving veterans, including funerals, Honor Flight and other activities.
Patriot Guard Ride Captain Bob Harder, himself a Vietnam Vet, says it’s important for young people especially, who may not have been old enough to remember what happened on 9/11 of 2001, to reflect on that day.
“We all know what happened on 9/11 and we all know where we were that day and it’s something that just should never forget. So, whenever I can honor something like this, and being asked by the students at MCC to be here, to me was an honor.”
Bernard Butler is a Navy veteran from Georgia who moved to Rochester. The 45 year old, who is now a student at MCC, had a medical discharge from the Navy at about the time the 9/11 attacks happened, but he had a lot of friends who were sent to fight in the Persian Gulf after the attacks.
“We can never forget what happened on 9/11, those twin towers, we must always remember and to build from that and keep strong and just bring unity and not division by what happened, but build strong from what happened.”
MCC President Anne Kress noted that there are a number of students at that college who are veterans or have other connections to the military.
“I think we all need to pause on 9/11 and remember what we lost as a country but also what we gained, that sense of what our values are; what America means, the fact that we have so many veteran students at MCC, that we serve the families of so many veterans who are currently serving our country overseas, that means so much to us and we want to remember their sacrifice today.”
Kress notes that MCC’s Homeland Security Management Institute was developed partly due to concerns that grew out of the events of 9/11 in 2001.
The ceremonies at MCC on Tuesday were held near the 9/11 memorial that was completed in 2002 at the Brighton campus.
Video of the flag being raised by area firefighters for the MCC remembrance ceremony in Brighton: