PALM HARBOR (FOX 13) - Seventeen years ago the country was in shock after four planes were hijacked, and on Tuesday, memorials are being held across the country and in Tampa Bay. In Palm Harbor, they recognized another tragic event.
During the annual memorial at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, organizers unveiled two memorials, one of which is in memory of the four U.S. Embassy members and workers who lost their lives in the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012.
Keenan Knope, CEO and president of Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, said it's the second one that he knows of in the U.S.
“It’s not a political memorial," he said. "It’s a memorial to them and their service to our country."
John Tiegen, a U.S. Marine who came to their rescue, unveiled the memorial.
"We are honored to have him as well," Knope said. "He's a true hero."
The 9/11 memorial service at Curlew Hills Memory Hardens has been a tradition for seven years. Joyce Ng, a survivor, was the keynote speaker for the Tuesday's event. She was inside the World Trade Center when the terrorist attack occurred, and was temporarily trapped inside when Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. Organizers said her building caught fire. Since that day, Joyce founded a non-profit charity called, “Hotel 9/11” to help survivors and families.
A second monument will be unveiled to recognize those who helped clean-up the 9/11 scene, from those with food trucks to steel workers, Knope explained. He said they have gotten diseases since their assistance.
“We created a memorial here that recognizes them for their service,” Knope said. “The number will go up every year, unfortunately.”