Retired Coast Guardsman Rick McKenzie plays bagpipes during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Retired Coast Guardsman Rick McKenzie plays bagpipes during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

PHOTO GALLERY: Ceremony in Port Angeles marks 9/11 anniversary

Out of the horror of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks came heroism, courage, valor and a united country, speakers told those gathered around an I-beam from the World Trade Center at the 9/11 Memorial Waterfront Park in Port Angeles.

On the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 2,996 people, about 100 people gathered at the park to honor first responders and those who died that day, while rededicating the monument at the park.

Flowers sit at the base of the I-beam from the World Trade Center in the 9/11 Memorial Waterfront Park during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Flowers sit at the base of the I-beam from the World Trade Center in the 9/11 Memorial Waterfront Park during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict told the crowd that since 9/11 he feels attitudes toward law enforcement have changed and increasing divisiveness will leave the country vulnerable again.

Retired Coast Guardsman Rick McKenzie plays bagpipes during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Retired Coast Guardsman Rick McKenzie plays bagpipes during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

“Immediately in the aftermath of 9/11 our country came together; we were united,” the sheriff said. “Now, 18 years forward, I can’t say we’re so united.

American Legion Rider Ralph Ellsworth presents the American flag during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

American Legion Rider Ralph Ellsworth presents the American flag during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

“I’ve never seen such a partisan divide in my 69 years on this planet as what we have now.”

Benedict said law enforcement has become a central focus of that divide, with lawmakers passing laws that create sanctuary cities, counties and states and seeking to limit local involvement with federal law enforcement officials.

Sheriff’s deputies raise the American flag during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Sheriff’s deputies raise the American flag during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

“We should put first responders, including law enforcement, in the proper perspective,” Benedict said. “They are here to help and they are here to try to prevent something like 9/11.”

The ceremony Wednesday was organized by Alan Barnard, who is chair and founder of the Public Safety Tribute Citizens Committee and co-creator of the monument at the park.

Port Angeles Police Chief Brian Smith salutes as the Grand Olympics Chorus sings the national anthem during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles Police Chief Brian Smith salutes as the Grand Olympics Chorus sings the national anthem during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

The American Legion Riders, Clallam County Sheriff’s honor guard, Grand Olympics Chorus and bagpiper Rick McKenzie participated in the annual ceremony.

Port Angeles firefighter/paramedics Tyler Jacobson and Mark Karjalainen sit as American Legion Riders and bagpiper Rick McKenzie arrive to the Port Angeles Fire Department on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles firefighter/paramedics Tyler Jacobson and Mark Karjalainen sit as American Legion Riders and bagpiper Rick McKenzie arrive to the Port Angeles Fire Department on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles Fire Chief Ken Dubuc told those in attendance that he does not believe the hundreds of firefighters and police officers who died while helping people during the attack would want to be remembered as heroes, but as people who did their jobs.

Clallam County Sheriff’s Chaplain Ed Evans says a prayer during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)
                                Clallam County Sheriff’s Chaplain Ed Evans says a prayer during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. Photos by Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News

Clallam County Sheriff’s Chaplain Ed Evans says a prayer during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News) Clallam County Sheriff’s Chaplain Ed Evans says a prayer during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. Photos by Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News

“They were doing what they signed up to do and if they were faced with doing it again today they would,” Dubuc said. “It’s what all first responders sign up for and it’s what all first responders pledge to do every day. You don’t get to choose the calls you go on.”

Retired Coast Guardsman Rick McKenzie plays bagpipes outside the Port Angeles Fire Department on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Retired Coast Guardsman Rick McKenzie plays bagpipes outside the Port Angeles Fire Department on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Dubuc said that while many are focusing on remembering those who died, it’s important not to forget those still living with the long-term affects of the attacks.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Sam Allen speaks during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Sam Allen speaks during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

“One of the grim realities unfortunately right now is that among the first responder community, more first responders have passed away since 9/11 than did on 9/11, and they are passing away from diseases and illnesses they contracted while they responded to 9/11,” Dubuc said.

“We talk about remembering, but they are living it now.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles Executive Officer Cmdr. Scott Austin speaks during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles Executive Officer Cmdr. Scott Austin speaks during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

“There are hundreds more living it now … and they are carrying those scars with them as they try to exist day to day.”

The Rev. Ed Evans, Clallam County Sheriff’s chaplain, said that the date Sept. 11 carries a heavy burden of memory.

Even organizer Alan Barnard, left, shakes hands with U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles Executive Officer Cmdr. Scott Austin during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Even organizer Alan Barnard, left, shakes hands with U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles Executive Officer Cmdr. Scott Austin during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

“We remember images of death and destruction, images that human eyes were never meant to see,” Evans said. “We remember words our ears were never meant to hear, the tender last words of husbands and wives who would never embrace again.”

Evans said that it’s a rite that should not fade from memory. He prayed for peace.

Port Angeles Fire Chief Ken Dubuc speaks during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles Fire Chief Ken Dubuc speaks during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Barnard thanked those who attended and said the ceremony will happen again next year at noon on Sept. 11 at the 9/11 Memorial Waterfront Park in Port Angeles.

“We will meet again next year at this time, at this place, to remember 9/11 and to acknowledge and thank our public safety people of Clallam County … and across the nation,” Barnard said.

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict speaks during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday.

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict speaks during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday.

“We will rededicate the monument and rededicate ourselves to never forget September 11th, 2001.”

American Legion Riders present colors at the Port Angeles Fire Department on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

American Legion Riders present colors at the Port Angeles Fire Department on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict wore a band over his badge during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict wore a band over his badge during a ceremony in Port Angeles honoring public safety officials on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Wednesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

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