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Commissioners set aside moment of remembrance on 9/11 anniversary

| September 3, 2021 7:00 AM

Lincoln County will honor the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a moment of remembrance and reflection.

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Aug. 25 to join local governments across the country in marking the occasion. Resolution 2021-27 calls for cessation of work and other activity at 11 a.m. local time for a moment of remembrance.

The resolution urges residents across the county to set aside a minute for reflection and mark the moment “in an appropriate manner, including by ringing bells, blowing whistles or sounding sirens.”

County Commissioner Brent Teske (D-1), who made the motion to approve the resolution, described commemorating the anniversary — any anniversary — of the terrorist attack as deeply important.

“This whole thing is near and dear to my heart. It affected my life substantially, between the time I went to Afghanistan to my time in law enforcement,” he said. “I think this is very important, very key for people in America to remember.”

County Commissioner Jerry Bennett (D-2) agreed, pointing out that school-aged children were born after the attacks.

“To keep this before them is a great thing,” he said.

Teske, a Navy veteran and former police officer in Libby, said the then-ongoing evacuation of Kabul made marking the occasion difficult. The U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan on Aug. 30 after nearly 20 years of war, occupation and internecine fighting. More than 2,400 U.S. servicemen and women perished in what became the nation’s longest war, according to The New York Times.

The commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, was the last American soldier to depart Afghanistan as the Taliban retook control of the nation, according to multiple media accounts.

“Unfortunately, it’s a difficult way to celebrate that anniversary with what’s going on over there right now,” Teske said.