Father pays tribute to military in 9/11 ceremony

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 12, 2010

PROCTORVILLE — It was Jim Nungesser’s son, a Marine stationed stateside, who told him a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers nine years ago Saturday.

The phone call awakened the Proctorville resident to the monumental events that were unfolding that morning.

“I turned on the TV and was watching this devastation,” Nungesser said.

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As the pair talked on the phone, the second plane hit.

“I believe we are at war,” Nungesser’s son told his father.

That remembrance of this national tragedy Nungesser, originally from New York, shared with those who came to the 9/11 ceremony held at the Proctorville branch of Wesbanco on Friday.

This was the second time the bank organized an event to pay honor to those who lost their lives that day and to all those who serve in the military, police and fire departments.

“How could something like this be happening,” Nungesser told the audience gathered at the bank’s parking lot. “All those lost souls.”

Nungesser said he and his wife had worried on the day their son went off the boot camp, never imagining he might have to face more in the horrors of war. Yet the young Marine has already served tours in Iraq as the United States fights the war on terror.

“I have so much respect and admiration for (the military),” he said. “They don’t want to let you know the devastation and turmoil they are going through. But we can sleep at night because we know they are there.”

Joining Nungesser at the dais was Glen Earl of the VFW Post 6878.

“We of the Post want to pay tribute,” Earl said. “Twenty percent of Americans were directly affected by this, either a family member or they knew a person in that building at that time.”

The ceremony concluded with the VFW firing squad salute and the raising of the American flag as the band, 4 Mile, sang the Star Spangled Banner.