Sept. 11 was a day of remembrance in Wallowa County as it was throughout the nation and the world last Wednesday on the first year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
American flags were waving throughout the county, and flew at half staff at all public buildings. Both the Enterprise and Joseph fire departments flew flags from fire truck ladders, just as they did a year ago after the tragedy occurred.
Wallowa students all wore red, white and blue in honor of the day, and special morning assemblies were held in the Joseph High School gym for all Joseph district students, in the multipurpose room for Enterprise Elementary School youngsters and around the school flag pole by Enterprise High School.
A remembrance ceremony was also held beneath the half-staff flag at the Wallowa County Courthouse at noon.
At the Joseph school assembly, organized by associate principal intern Sherri Kilgore, "local heros" representing the Joseph Fire Department, Wallowa County Sheriff's Office, Wallowa County EMTs and Enterprise Police Department were given special recognition.
Some of those same local heroes, plus Enterprise volunteer firemen, were visible and recognized and at some of the other ceremonies.
The local heros present at the Joseph school assembly were Sheriff Fred Steen and Undersheriff Steve Rogers; Joseph firemen Herman Ortmann, Kevin Warnock, Paul Curran and Rick Klages, Roy Anderson, Stuart Jones, Dave Klough, Robert Lion, Andy Osborn and Tim Nitz; EMTs Bruce Womack, Melissa Calhoun, Reta Warner Connie Stein, Joyce Himes and John Walter; and EPD chief Wes Kilgore, officer Kurt White and K-9 Dasty.
"Today our community, our nation and our world are focused on remembering the tragedy and honoring the victims of Sept. 11," were the words spoken at both the Joseph and Enterprise school remembrances, with Kilgore reading in Joseph and members of the student council in Enterprise.
Students from both schools bowed their heads as a moment of silence was called to remember the innocent lives lost on Sept. 11, the heroic emergency personnel (those who lost their lives and and those who worked past exhaustion at Ground Zero), the thousands of families and friends who lost loved ones, the local heros and the global and national leaders "who must have the courage and wisdom to do what is necessary to protect our nation and promote freedom, democracy and peace throughout the world."
In Joseph, three high school students (Erin Baynes, Brittni Ruark and Megan Garnett) sang "America the Beautiful," while at the Enterprise High School ceremony the high school choir sang the national anthem.
"As we did one year ago, let us again send a message to the world," were the words spoken prior to the national anthem in Enterprise. "We, the people of the United States of America, still stand united as a community and a nation celebrating democracy in the land of the free and the home of the brave."