September 11, 2003 - Posted at: 4:00 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, Ark. - A large patriotic crowd gathered at the Craighead County Veteran's Memorial to honor those who fell on September 11, 2001, and to honor those who are currently fighting the war on terror.
In front of the county courthouse Thursday morning, patriotic citizens, veterans, and active military fresh from Iraq saluted the heroes of what would become Patriot Day.
Included in the ceremony, a 1984 graduate of Arkansas State University. Army Major Walleon Bobo is a resident of Jonesboro. He was serving as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom when he was shot during a June 19 ambush while driving in Baghdad.
"Life is precious. Things I used to take for granted, I definitely don't take for granted anymore", said U.S. Army Major Walleon Bobo.
Major Bobo was given his own Veteran's brick, with his name and branch of service engraved on the face that will soon be part of the Veteran's collection of memorial bricks.
Bobo is home recovering from his wounds, but says he expects to return to active duty -- and possibly Iraq.
Elsewhere in Jonesboro, St. Bernard's Behavioral Health held its annual flag service on the front lawn of the hospital located on Johnson Avenue.
The staff paid tribute to the lives lost after the attacks. Local Fire, Police, and EMT personnel were honored by a special lunch. After the flag was raised, participants recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Meanwhile, in other parts of the state, Arkansans marked the second anniversary of terrorist attacks in New York and Washington with moments of silence, words from veterans of the war in Iraq and acts of appreciation for emergency workers. Governor Huckabee proclaimed Patriot Day in the state.
Lance Corporal Dennis Hutchins led a crowd gathered in front of Little Rock City Hall in the Pledge of Allegiance as flags flew at half staff. Hutchins returned from Iraq last month after recovering from a broken back he suffered during a Humvee accident.
Police and firefighters sang patriotic songs at the Little Rock memorial ceremony and officers sounded a 21-gun salute after a moment of silence.
Mayor Jim Dailey says the ceremony is a symbol of unity and resolve to remember the September 11th victims.
In Pine Bluff, members of the Southside Baptist Church made a special breakfast for firefighters before a memorial at the Jefferson County Courthouse. Residents there offered prayers and viewed a burned financial document the county issued that was recovered from Morgan Stanley offices in the World Trade Center.
Blytheville paramedic Charlotte Carmichael, who was called to respond to the terrorist attacks in New York, spoke at an early-morning memorial. She says Arkansans must ensure that the sacrifices made two years ago weren't in vain.
Carmichael says the victims and rescuers will always be her heroes.
A moment of silence at the Central Fire Station in Camden started a ceremony that honored firefighters and police officers. Fire chaplain Sterling Claypool told residents that September 11th should mark a change in the country's history.
Camden firefighters then sounded three sets of five rings on the station's fire alarm bell -- the traditional signal to announce the death of a fellow firefighter -- followed by a 21-gun salute.