White doves flew and a bagpiper played a mournful “Amazing Grace” as victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were remembered at a ceremony in Wichita on Wednesday morning.
About 50 people attended the memorial service at the Kansas Firefighters Museum, 1300 S. Broadway. They included firefighters and state and local law enforcement officers.
The event was held outside on the museum’s plaza, where a statue commemorates fallen firefighters. Bricks lining the plaza are inscribed with their names.
Colors were posted by members of the Hamilton Middle School ROTC. The South High Madrigals sang the national anthem and “God Bless America.”
Two moments of silence were observed, each coinciding with an event during the attacks 12 years ago.
Dottie Conboy, of the dove-release organization White Wings over America, gave a speech recalling in detail the events of that day.
“America mourns our loss, but we are Americans. We are strong, we are proud and we are free,” she said. “We rebuild and we will always rise up.”
Conboy said the 45 doves she and her husband, Mark, released at the event were part of the release of 5,000 doves nationally to honor the souls lost.
David D. Wilson of the museum acknowledged the city and Sedgwick County firefighters who traveled to New York to help after the attacks.
Another ceremony honoring the victims will be held Wednesday at McConnell Air Force Base at 4:30 p.m. The event is for personnel on the base. It will take place at the flagpole in front of Building One.