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Bells Ring In Maine To Honor Memory Of 9/11 Victims

Willis Ryder Arnold
Maine Public
Police and fire officials honor the memory of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Bells rang out in Portland and Lewiston Tuesday to honor the memory of those who died in the September 11 attacks in 2001.Officials from the Portland Police and Fire Departments held a ceremony, placing a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at Fort Allen Park.

Credit Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Interim Portland Fire Chief Keith Gautreau says the effects of the attack still reverberate among firefighters throughout the country.  "In our generation, certainly, not unlike Pearl Harbor and JFK, this is what most of us remember. This is...you remember where you were when this happened."

Gautreau says he was at work when two planes were flown into the World Trade Center towers in New York City.

Credit Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Timothy Butt , an electrician who attended the ceremony, says it's a solemn event. "It's a patriotic thing. And it just feels good to be out here and take a moment to reflect on what it really means the most to us as Americans."

Butt says he was in the cafeteria of his high school when he learned of the attack on the twin towers in New York.

He recalls seeing two kids sharing headphones to listen to the news, and says that's when the gravity of the situation sank in. 

In Lewiston, members of Maine's congressional delegation joined the Lewiston Fire Department to honor those lost in the attacks 17 years ago.

After a moment of silence, Sen. Angus King thanked the police and firefighters who responded to the attacks in 2001. And King, an independent, said cyber attacks on American values continue today.

Credit Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public
Sen. Angus King speaks at an event in Lewiston Tuesday honoring 9/11 victims.

"Those people in China, or North Korea, or Iran, who are doing these computer things, they don't think they're going to take over Idaho or Maine," King said. "But they're going to try to harm America because of who we are. That's what they hate."

Second District Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican, also spoke at the ceremony and presented local officials with a flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol.

Credit Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public
Maine 2nd District Rep. Bruce Poliquin speaks at an event in Lewiston honoring 9/11 victims.

Poliquin urged all citizens to remain vigilant. "Because in order to have this blessed country, these great freedoms, these great opportunities, and this great future we have, we all need to be involved."

This story was originally published 11:54 a.m. Sept. 11, 2018.