Sweet Home honors dead in candlelight vigil at Sankey

Dozens of Sweet Home residents lit candles Friday night in Sankey Park to remember those who died in last week’s terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“I believe as a community, we will be stronger,” Dale Dietz said. “I believe as a country, we will be stronger.”

“We are grateful” and privileged to live in this country, Rev. Bill Shockey said in prayer. “We always need to be grateful to our Lord for the great nation in we live in…. We pray, Father, for our nation.”

“I think it is important for this community, like others in this nation, to unite, show our resolve as Americans and stand together now and for what may be a long road ahead of us,” City Manager Craig Martin said. “We need to unite in our thoughts and prayers of comfort for the victims, the rescuers and all of their families and friends as they grieve the loss of loved ones.

“We need to also reassure our families and especially our children, help them to not only understand this tragedy, but more importantly that they are safe and regardless of what tragedy others have placed upon us, as Americans we will endure. We will recover. We will continue to prosper and remain as the greatest nation under God of this free world.

“I ask that in the days, weeks and maybe even months that are before us, as we as a country and community continue to heal and begin to hold those responsible for this act of terrorism accountable.”

“As those fortunate enough to escape the stricken towers ran from the buildings, emergency police and firefighters ran in,” Police Chief Bob Burford said. “No one forced them to do so. Helping others is as natural to this breed of men and women as breathing. Hundreds of these brave professionals died alongside those they swore to protect, and as we stand here tonight, thousands of other emergency personnel continue to work around the clock in a valiant effort to save any possible survivors.

“When you go home tonight, I encourage you to hug your loved ones and tell them how you feel.

“We anticipate temporary inconveniences and quite possibly changes to our current ways of life; but as my father’s generation rose to face the enormous challenges of a world at war, I am confident that we too shall rise to the occasion and show the world the true strength of this great country.”

As the sun sank into the horizon, Gloria Mittleman led the gathered crowd through several patriotic songs following the speeches as individuals began lighting candles. Soon, the flag at half mast in Sankey Park was surrounded with candles flickering gently.