United We Stand: Liberty County leaders, community come together to remember 9/11

Left to right are Cleveland Public Works Director and Asst. Fire Chief Roger Brookes, Cleveland Fire Chief Sean Anderson, Cleveland Firefighter Travis Strickland, District Attorney Jennifer Bergman, Pct. 6 Zack Harkness, Cleveland ISD Police Chief Angela Allen, Sheriff Bobby Rader, Cleveland Police Chief Darrel Broussard, and DA Investigators Ivan Pierce and James Ott.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the world stood still as two planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing nearly 3,000 innocent people. The attacks on the World Trade Center, followed by a similar attack on the U.S. Pentagon, and the hijacking and subsequent crashing of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Penn., is considered the deadliest terrorist attack in American history.

While more than two decades have passed, the wounds caused by the horrific attack are still fresh in the hearts and minds of Americans and allies around the world.

On Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, the community of Cleveland gathered at the Cleveland Senior Citizen Center to mark the historic event and pay honor to the brave first responders who protect and serve the Cleveland community and surrounding area, and the service personnel who continue to defend the nation from future attacks.

Cleveland Mayor Danny Lee, City Manager Scott Swigert and Pct. 6 Constable Zack Harkness attended the 9/11 memorial service on Monday.
Cleveland Mayor Danny Lee welcomes everyone to the 9/11 event on Monday.

The event in Cleveland was hosted by the Cleveland Senior Citizens Organization and attended by Cleveland Mayor Danny Lee, Cleveland Police Chief Darrel Broussard, Cleveland Fire Chief Sean Anderson, Liberty County District Attorney Jennifer Bergman, Pct. 6 Constable Zack Harkness, Sheriff Bobby Rader, City of Cleveland Chaplain Lance Blackwell and others.

Cleveland High School Air Force JROTC Color Guard presented the flags and cadets took part in an Adopt-a-Grandparent event that followed.

Mayor Danny Lee thanked the Cleveland Senior Citizens Organization for arranging Monday’s memorial event.

“It was a good day to remember our history, to remember a day that brought this whole country together as one. Sept. 11 brought Americans together like no other event that I have ever seen,” Lee told Bluebonnet News.

He recalls watching the terror attacks with co-workers at the Entergy Texas office in New Caney.

“A plane had just crashed into one of the twin towers. Then another plane crashed into the other building. It was most heartbreaking seeing the people jumping to their deaths to escape the burning buildings. When Americans saw that, there was no black or white or Hispanic. There was no conservative or liberal. Everybody was just American,” Lee said.

Stefania Ward, the director of the Cleveland Senior Citizens Center, said she expects the 9/11 memorial service will be a yearly event.

The memorial service was coordinated to include veterans from the VFW Post in Cleveland and those who enjoy congregant meals at the senior citizens center. It was also an opportunity to pair the seniors with high school students to share an activity and experiences over lunch.

“We had several members of the Cleveland VFW Post who were adopted by the Cleveland HS Color Guard. As I walked around, I noticed the kids were having amazing conversations with the seniors. They were sharing and talking about their lives. It was a beautiful moment. The young people were helping the seniors to their tables. After lunch, they painted rocks that will be placed outside the senior citizens center,” Ward said.

A separate article on the Adopt-a-Grandparent event will be posted on Bluebonnet News. Photos for this article were provided by Lance Blackwell.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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