Tears and hope on 9/11 anniversary

THERE were tears for the past and looking forward to the future as a memorial to the victims of September 11 was opened.Community representatives and military personnel were at RAF Mildenhall on Saturday for the opening of a living memorial.

By James Mortlock

THERE were tears for the past and looking forward to the future as a memorial to the victims of September 11 was opened.

Community representatives and military personnel were at RAF Mildenhall on Saturday for the opening of a living memorial.

The small park, finished last week, is in a central position on the base, which is home to 4,000 American servicemen and another 5,000 family members.


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Col Richard Devereaux, commander of 100 Air Refuelling Wing, said: "It is a living symbol for everyone on the base, something that they can look at and remember the victims of 9-11. It is a reminder of why we serve."

During the moving ceremony he said that the fight against terrorism would continue and that the memorial was British as well as American.

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"This is an RAF Mildenhall memorial. It is going to be used by Americans and British people who work on the base. Sixty-seven British people died in the World Trade Center.

"This is not something static in stone, but something that will grow and sprout every day."

The park was designed by one of the civil engineers on the base to represent all the victims of the September 11 attacks.

Master Sgt Lance Davis said: "The evergreen trees are a symbol of strength and steadfastness of spirit. The two trees represent the Twin Towers as well as those on the two planes which crashed into them. The five-sided base represents the Pentagon…where American Airlines flight 77 crashed with 55 people on board. The mountain laurel, the state flower of Pennsylvania, represents the 40 people on United Airlines Flight 93."

The audience was told that a plaque is to be engraved with President Bush's words of September 11: "Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America."

Col Devereaux said: "It is a very uplifting moment. Over the last three years we have marked 9-11 in a very sombre way. I think this is more uplifting, leaving sorrow behind us and looking forward to the future."

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