CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake’s annual September 11th memorial ceremony took place last night at the Clear Lake Fire Department.

Guest speaker Bennett Smith is a Clear Lake City Councilman as well as teaches history at North Iowa Area Community College. Smith’s message to the crowd was about virtue and valor of Americans. “We must all remain vigilant as Americans to the threats that exist in the world. There will always be those out there it would seek to extinguish the sacred fire of liberty as Washington called, and any culture increasingly polarized according to race, religion, and politics, we all need to focus on the ideals and institutions of American civilization that bring us together.”

Smith reminded us that Americans stepped up not only with the September 11th attacks but after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, including D-Day 75 years ago.  “ I find one of the most inspiring truth about D-Day was the leadership in the midst of chaos that came from all parts of the chain of command. From corporals to generals, those brave men who stormed those beaches, they knew that they would not be going home, many of them ,and yet they chose to pay the ultimate price rather than live in a world governed by tyranny. The history of the 20th Century is in one sense defined by the demonstration of American resolve against the forces of darkness that were represented by Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany.”

You can listen to last night’s ceremony in whole via the audio player below.