Sep 11, 2012 8:04 PM by Jenise Fernandez
Eleven years ago the nation was stunned, as visions of planes crashed into the twin towers. Nearly 3,000 people were killed. The tragic event was remembered, more quietly than in years past, but with no less passion. Here in Acadiana, dozens stopped by the memorial in downtown Lafayette to pay their respects. To some, today was just any other day, but others took a moment to pause and reflect on the events of that September day.
"It touches us all. It was a big moment in our lives and for our country," said Bernard Coger.
Coger remembers 9/11 like it was yesterday. He was working at a resort in Jacksonville, Florida and woke up that morning to see images of smoke and terror flooding the television.
"My jaw was dropped, my eyes were wide open. All day, even going to work, I stayed around the TV just watching," said Coger.
Coger says those moments changed him forever. He placed a small flag along the memorial to honor the lives lost and those still fighting.
"I was in awe that someone could do that to us to this country," he added.
"9/11 changed our lives forever and I don't think I'll ever forget that day and that moment," said Sally Ranton.
Ranton still gets choked up thinking about that day. She took a moment to bow her head and say a silent prayer.
"I put some yellow mums and of course a flag to remember we are Americans," said Ranton.
Ian Rubin placed his hand over his heart and walked around the memorial. He says he hopes younger generations continue to learn about 9/11 and never forget it.
"We're still moving on and we'll never forget it and we got to keep moving, never stop being who we are," Rubin said.
"We will always pass it down from generation to generation. Memorials like this help a lot to keep it in our minds," said Coger.
The 9/11 monument in downtown Lafayette not only serves as a memorial to the victims and the heroes of that tragic day, but it also serves as a tribute to the three places where the attacks occurred. The three beams came from the World Trade Center and are placed in the same direction the actual towers faced. The base is a pentagon shape, built with limestone from the Pentagon building. The northwest section of the base was purposely defaced to represent the spot where a plane hit that building. The garden inside the base is planted using a mix of soil including some from the Pennsylvania field in which flight 93 crashed.