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Passing on the Memory

September 12, 2011

Local Boy Scouts held a Sept. 11th ceremony in Railroad Square in Newport City Sunday. Here the scouts, with the assistance of Scout Master Kevin Charboneau, prepare to raise the Flag of Heroes, which has the names of all the people who died or are believed to have died during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Photo by Christopher Roy

NEWPORT CITY – Americans nationwide attended ceremonies to remember the men and women who died in the terrorists attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. 
Newport area Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts held a brief ceremony, which included raising the Flag of Heroes in Railroad Square. The flag is similar to the American Flag in shape and design but has the name of every person who was killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 
“This is to honor the everyday heroes,” explained Scout Master Kevin Charboneau, a former member of the Vermont State Police. “The first responders - like the fire, ambulance, police and the ordinary citizen, like the ones aboard flight 93. They did what needed to be done.”
Liz Laplume, the Cub Scout Master who organized the memorial service, said Sept. 11th is an important day in history and the ceremony gave the scouts some perspective on the impact the attacks had on the world. The ceremony also showed awareness that the community should not forget what happened 10 years ago. 
Many of the scouts would have been very young 10 years ago or had not even been born yet, and remember little if anything about the attacks.
“On the 10th anniversary, it’s important for them to have an idea of what happened to this nation,” said Laplume.
The flag, which flew in Railroad Square for a brief time yesterday, will be in the possession of the scouts. The troop would like to build a memorial garden in Railroad Square.
Charboneau, a retired state trooper, and Newport City Firefighter Chuck Newton both have vivid memories of the attack. Charboneau said the state police were watching the television coverage.
“It just changed our world,” said Charboneau. He said more people died in the World Trade Center than there were full-time state police officers in Vermont. “There was a feeling of powerlessness because we couldn’t help them.”
“It makes me think a lot about the sacrifices of all our citizens, firefighters, EMS, police and everyone who were there and involved," Newton said.
Scout Aaron Barrup, 13, of Derby Line, said the ceremony was a good way to reflect on what had happened. Scout Alexander Charboneau, 15, of Newport City, learned about the attacks when his principal came into his classroom at Sacred Heart School. 
“I didn’t understand why it was happening, why they did it or why they would want to do it,” he said. Charboneau said there ceremony was performed:“So we could honor the people who died and the first responders who tried to save people.”
Members of the Newport City and Newport Center Fire Departments and members of the public also attended Sunday’s ceremony.

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