EAST LIVERPOOL - There were no "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" on Sunday, but there were some tears as country music lovers gathered at Broadway Wharf to remember the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Organizers of the fourth "Country Jammin' on the River" event this summer dedicated Sunday's concert to the first responders who gave their lives trying to save others on 9/11.
"This is our tribute to all the men and women who died on 9/11," said Ruthie Horner, of Hanoverton, who hosts the event with her husband, Joe.
A member of Salineville American Legion Post 442 plays taps prior to Sunday’s “Country Jammin’ on the River” event at Broadway Wharf, which included a special commemoration of those who died on 9/11. (Photo by Stephen Huba)
Tuesday marks the 11th anniversary of the attacks on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
Horner's daughter, Tabatha Fischer, told the Broadway Wharf crowd that the 9/11 attacks claimed the lives of 343 New York firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York police officers, and 37 Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officers.
Fischer said she decided to invite local first responders to Sunday's event because "there just doesn't seem to be enough 'thank yous' to the men and women in our area who risk their lives every day to help ensure our safety as we go along in our daily lives."
Among those participating in the ceremony before the concert were representatives of the East Liverpool Fire Department, Liverpool Township Fire Department, Calcutta Fire Department, Glenmoor Fire Department, West Point Fire Department, Wellsville Fire Department, Lifeteam EMS, North Star Critical Care, the Carroll County Sheriff's Department and the Newell Volunteer Fire Department.
The latter also did a demonstration with its River Rescue 7 boat on the Ohio River.
"We're proud to be part of anything we're invited to," said Newell assistant fire Chief Tim Steele. "We're always in remembrance of what happened on 9/11."
Steele said the annual 9/11 commemorations are a good way to highlight the work and sacrifices of first responders throughout the year.
"I think that day really opened people's eyes as to what we do on a daily basis. I think they really understood our jobs better once that happened," Steele said. "And I believe they still think about it."
Sunday's ceremony included a 21-gun salute by members of Salineville American Legion Post 442, a performance of taps, the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Pastor John Smith, a teacher at Westgate Middle School, asked for a moment of silence and then offered a prayer.
Among the patriotic songs performed on Sunday were "God Bless the U.S.A." and "Ballad of the Green Berets," sung by harmonica player and bassist Eddie Kay, of Columbiana.
Future "Country Jammin' on the River" concerts are scheduled for 1-4 p.m. Sept. 30, Oct. 14 and Oct. 28.