Ceremony held at War Memorial to honor 9/11 victims, troops

MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin leaders marked the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks Tuesday with memorial services across southeastern Wisconsin -- including one such memorial service at the downtown Milwaukee War Memorial Center Tuesday morning.

Tuesday morning's ceremony was meant to honor those who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 -- along with those who continue to fight for America's freedom.

"Laying a wreath on behalf of all members of the military," Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said at the ceremony.

Dozens gathered at the War Memorial Center for the wreath-laying ceremony. Among the leaders who spoke were Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Gov. Scott Walker.

"It was an attack on an idea that we are one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all," Abele said.

"(9/11 was) a tragedy that resulted in the death of 2,977 individuals, including 343 brave firefighters," Barrett said.

"The best way to honor the dead is by serving the living," Gov. Walker said.

The head priest of Oak Creek's Sikh Temple offered a prayer at the service.

"To take away the ignorance and the arrogance and the hatred that infect our minds and give us love and compassion," Gurmal Singh said.

The War Memorial has played host to this annual 9/11 remembrance. This year's service was emotional for one Milwaukee resident. Inga Barry worked on the 64th floor at the World Trade Center on 9/11, but wasn't there when the first plane hit. 

Barry lost her boss and close friends 11 years ago. She says the memories are still painful, but ceremonies like Tuesday's help her cope with each passing year.

"It was a time in our nation that we came together," Barrett said.

Following the ceremony, folks gathered around a steel beam from the World Trade Center. It was delivered to Milwaukee County last year during the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and now remains a permanent fixture at the War Memorial.

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