LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - 9/11 is the day America lost nearly 3000 lives. The day will forever live in the memory of each person who lived through it.
Such a pivotal event in our nation’s history is remembered in Lake Charles by two beams from the World Trade Center standing on the lakefront. The beams are surrounded by a mosaic of 3000 unique pieces of glass, representing the memory of each individual’s life that was lost.
Kay Nobel is a citizen in the Lake Area and says this is the day to observe and remember. “it’s very important to have and I do think people need to come and spend time here and remember”, says Noble.
Lake Charles Mayor, Nic Hunter says this memorial isn’t just to remember 9/11, but also to remember the lives of Russell Keene and Kevin Yokum, two locals who died in the attacks. Keen was at the World Trade Center, Yokum was at the Pentagon. Their names are etched on a piece of limestone brought here from the Pentagon.
“To have two of our native sons lost in that tragedy really effected this community greatly”, says Mayor Hunter.
Lake Charles Fire Chief Keith Murray says it is a day he will never forget.
“9/11 was the worst day in my professions history," said Murray.
Chief Murray explains first responders were not trained for an event of this magnitude. He says it forced all first responders to go back to the drawing board and reevaluate how to respond to situations both large and small.
“We had to learn a whole lot of new skills in order to be able to recognize, handle, and deal with these different types of events that could happen now in our world. I’d love to go and take that all back. I’m sure the police, the port authorities, the EMS would all love to do the same thing," said Murray, "But I can’t take back that we’ve become better, that we’ve become stronger than we were before. The fire and police departments around the nation are definitely not weaker.”
Murray continues by saying memorials like this give the youth, who may not remember these attacks, an idea of the gravity of loss felt on this day in our nation’s history.
“If you don’t have memorials around to make people remember what was lost, then people are bound to repeat it all over again. Don’t make it about hatred, just make it about ‘this happened on this day, we don’t forget it’, and that way we won’t repeat it. We’ll never be caught unprepared that way again," explained Murray.
To that, Nobel says the community plays an important role.
“We did have an important role, the role of demonstrating how the community can come together, and we won’t forget," said Nobel.