Veteran memorial

The Brevard Veterans Memorial Center paid tribute to those who were lost in the horrific terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and those who suffered and died in the aftermath.

About 500 people gathered Saturday afternoon for the Memorial Tribute to those lost in the terrorist attacks and to the military, law enforcement and first responders and civilians who died later.

The most horrendous terrorist attacks the world has ever experienced claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people on that day. Others died later because of illnesses related to the attacks and many more in the war on terror that followed.

What started as a bright and sunny day soon turned into a dark day in New York City, Washington, D.C. and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania when terrorists hijacked airliners to commit their despicable acts of terror.

“Twenty years ago today, our nation came to a standstill, came to a halt,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey told the crowd gathered in front of the Veteran Memorial Center on Merritt Island. “It united us as a nation.”

He said there were many heroes among first responders and the military that went to fight following the attacks who we should all hold in high esteem.

Retired Coast Guard Rear Adm. Wayne Justice recalled being at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. and could see out his office window as the Pentagon burned.

“We must remember the heroes 20 years later,” he said.

Donn Weaver, chairman of the Brevard Veterans Council and vice president of the Veterans Memorial Center, reminded the audience to focus on those lost during the attack and also on those lost following the attacks while serving in the military.