GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Communities across the East held 9/11 memorial ceremonies Monday.
At the Pitt County Courthouse, people gathered for a day to remember.
First responders and community members laid wreaths to symbolize when each plane crashed and each tower fell.
Mayor Kandi Smith said it was important to never forget the lives lost and to remember how the country came together 16 years ago.
“It’s a part of history I think we wish never would have happened, but since it did happen we should all learn from what happened and find ways we can move forward together as a city, as a state, as a country,” Smith said.
In Kinston, a 9/11 Memorial Service was held at Pearson Park, where every year dozens of people come to remember the lives lost.
Local first responders, emergency management and members of the military all spoke at the ceremony.
Army veteran and keynote speaker Robert Squires said he vividly remembers 9/11 because he had involved on the fateful day.
“I think it is important for everyone in the country to remember this day cause this date changed history,” said Squires. “It changed our way of life.”
At East Carolina University, the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement hosted a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Students painted “peace rocks” and placed them around campus and in the Greenville area.
Organizers said it was a creative way for students to make the best out of a tragic day.
“A lot of our students were not really of age to remember that event in terms of tragedy,” said Sarah Robertson, graduate assistant and event coordinator “We just want to show them that we have to come together as a community and promote positive change and make the world better.”
Students could also post on social media about the event or write letters to local leaders on change they would like to see.
Those lost were also remembered at the Jacksonville’s Patriots Day ceremony, and Havelock police commemorated 9/11 with a ceremony Monday morning.