The text from a Marine sergeant war veteran came to an editor in the Ashe Post & Times offices on Sept. 11, and it read simply, “Never forget.”

The fear that we not remember the date, Sept. 11, 2001, is a real one among many of us, and veterans especially. So much has happened in the almost ensuing two decades — politically, economically, personally, the ever-passage of time — that other events, other things constantly threaten to engulf the memory of the terrorist attacks on our nation.

Sadly, many communities have ceased holding memorial events for 9/11 — and this was so even before this year’s global pandemic put a cap on public gatherings.

Not in Ashe County. In Ashe, our county has remembered and memorialized the day for the past 19 years. Yes, this year’s event didn’t look like every other. People did not stand as close. Some wore face masks. But the memories of that day were there, as were the salutes for those who lost their lives for no reason other than being an American, or an American committed to defending his or her country.

This spirit, this dedication to our past, our heritage and our communal sorrows are part of what makes Ashe County a special place. We thank all those who took place in this year’s 9/11 event, and all of those everywhere who remembered, once again.

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