Midlands remembers 9-11 at local memorial

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - One year after unveiling a first responders memorial in Columbia's Vista, community leaders and residents gathered there Tuesday night to mark the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.

Dawn Yamashiro lost her brother in World Trade Center Tower One on September 11, 2001. Like so many that day, he went to work and never came home. As the years go by, dealing with those emotions slowly gets easier for the Irmo woman.

"So many lives were lost that shouldn't have," said Yamashiro. "A lot of the folks were just going to work and it was an ordinary day and because of an act of terrorism were never able to come home."

Yamashiro was among hundreds or people who gathered at the first responders memorial Tuesday evening for a ceremony to honor those lost and anyone who wears a uniform.

The names of more than 50 South Carolinians who have died while serving are etched on the monument. Unfortunately, that number has grown in the last year since the memorial was first unveiled.

"9-11 changed more than the skyline of New York," Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts, Commanding General at Fort Jackson, told the crowd. "The attack changed a generation of Americans, touching hearts and homes in South Carolina and across the nation."

That was never more evident Tuesday as when people came up one by one to honor a loved one lost, touching the memorial, and leaving behind a simple flower in their memory.

Yamashiro did the very same for a brother she calls a hero.

"A terrible thing happened that day, but from a terrible thing, good things can happen," said Yamashiro. "With the memorial we have behind us I feel much more at peace than I have in the past."