9/11 Commemorated in Tampa Bay Area

Cast into the water
Wreath next to the U.S.S. American Victory
Chief Castor
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor at Tampa Firefighter's Museum
TAMPA (2011-9-11) -

Moments of silence and commemorations were held across the Bay Area to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It began shortly after sunrise on the deck of the American Victory Ship, moored along Tampa's Channelside.

Gary Brooks, the ship's pastor, says justice has been served on those who perpetrated the attacks.

"We ask thee to take account with a vengeance of all those who were killed as a result of a deliberate crashing of hijacked planes by terrorists and you answered our prayers," says Pastor Brooks, "Osama bin Laden, who authorized and celebrated the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon has received his well- deserved reward from the God of ultimate justice, whom we serve."

The commemoration then moved across downtown to the Tampa Firefighters Museum. Bagpipers marched under a huge American flag strung between two fire engine ladders. Motorcyclists roared under the national emblem to a ceremony attended by many of the city's leaders, including Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

"Whether you're wearing camoflauge, bunker gear, or kevlar, what you do every day for us is an every-present reminder of how lucky we are," Buckhorn told the audience. "Lucky enough to have men and women like you who will do for us what we don't have the courage to do for ourselves."

The firefighters of Tampa Bay Pipe and Drum Corps then serenaded the crowd.

Mayor Buckhorn then ended his speech with a poem about a firefighter awaiting his just reward at the pearly gates of heaven.

"There was a silence all around the throne where saints had often trod, and the firefighter waited quietly for the judgement of his God," he read. "Step now you firefighter, you've borne your burdens well. Walk peacefully on heaven's streets - you've done your time in hell."

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