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First responders share Sept. 11 experience during Lynchburg’s ‘Field of Honor’ ceremony

‘It is our duty, and in my case, it is my sacred duty, to remember those people we lost that day.’

A field of 1,000 American flags surrounded a Lynchburg field filled with hundreds of Americans, as they remembered the attacks on September 11, 2001.
A field of 1,000 American flags surrounded a Lynchburg field filled with hundreds of Americans, as they remembered the attacks on September 11, 2001.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – A field of 1,000 American flags surrounded a Lynchburg field filled with hundreds of Americans, as they remembered the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

“To me, it seems like yesterday,” said Gerry Sheridan, a Liberty University police officer and retired member of the NYPD.

He responded to Ground Zero and served four months on the debris known as ‘the pile.’

“It was quiet. Just dust everywhere. It had no color; it was different shades of gray,” said Sheridan.

Retired Major General Scott West was an army colonel stationed at the Pentagon.

It was only his second day on the job when the plane hit.

“It hit the building about 100 yards from where we were sitting. It came down underneath us, and immediately there was this huge thud. All of us were sitting in [the] office and were suddenly standing. We had been pushed up onto our feet from the overpressure from the aircraft,” said West.

Sheridan and West hope ceremonies, like the one in Lynchburg Saturday, continue to honor the nearly 3,000 lives lost on that fateful day.

“It is our duty, and in my case, it is my sacred duty, to remember those people we lost that day,” said West.

“It gives you hope. It does help you believe that not everyone has forgotten,” said Sheridan.


About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.