West Virginia University at Parkersburg marks 9/11 with ceremony | News, Sports, Jobs

West Virginia University Parkersburg student veteran Joseph Ritchey rang the bell once for every year that has passed since the events of 9/11 during a remembrance held at WVU-P on Thursday. (Photo by Douglas Huxley)

PARKERSBURG — A 9/11 remembrance ceremony was held Thursday at the College Theater at West Virginia University in Parkersburg.

“Let me tell you something that I believe with all my heart”, said David Lancaster, acting vice president for academic affairs at WVU-P. “We’re just one generation, one generation away from remembering what happened.”

Lancaster spoke of his father showing a rock on their property in Tyler County when he was a teenager. Later in life, after his father died, men came to the property looking for this stone. Lancaster spent the day helping them find it and it turns out the stone was a Tyler County line marker.

Lancaster remarked that if they had come looking for this stone after he passed, they might not have found it, as he had not passed this knowledge on to his son.

“We are here today to remember this stone, for lack of a better term,” said Lancaster. “It’s our story, it’s who we are and it’s why we’re here today. To remember these people.

David Lancaster, acting vice president for academic affairs, spoke at the 9/11 remembrance ceremony held Thursday at the University of West Virginia in Parkersburg. (Photo by Douglas Huxley)

Rob Anderson, Professor of History at WVU-P, gave an overview of the events of 9/11: US Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. and collapses at 10:28 a.m., United Flight 175 hits the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. and its collapse at 9:59 a.m., with US Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. and Flight 93 crashing in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

“There were 2,977 families who lost a loved one,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t just numbers, it was people, people who lost a loved one.”

Major James Anderson and Captain Carl Boyles of the West Virginia National Guard spoke about the citizen soldiers who were affected by 9/11.

Anderson spoke about his time fighting in Fallujah and the bond and friendships he made.

“You can never quite explain what combat bonding will do to you,” Anderson said. “There’s not a guy on my team that I wouldn’t be here for today. We developed this bond and this cohesion which did not exist in the guard before. We have developed a dependency on each other. We have become what America should be. We became a band that didn’t care if you were male or female. We didn’t care what color you were. We didn’t care what your relationship was with your higher entities. We don’t care about your sexual orientation. None of that mattered. And that’s not the case so far.” he said.

Capt. Carl Boyles of the West Virginia National Guard spoke Thursday at West Virginia University in Parkersburg during the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony. Boyles is a quartermaster and engineering officer in the West Virginia National Guard. (Photo by Douglas Huxley)

Boyles explained how members of the West Virginia National Guard are still deployed overseas and are even helping out now.

“Even the war in Ukraine, 219th West Virginia National Guard SF operators had spent five years in Ukraine before the current war kicked off, training Ukrainians on the current tactics you see now,” Boyle said.

The ceremony ended with Joseph Ritchey, a veteran WVU-P student, ringing the bell 21 times to signify 21 years since the events of 9/11.

Douglass Huxley can be contacted at [email protected]

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