By September 12, 2017 Read More →

Huntington residents join in remembrance for 9/11 victims during Spring Hill ceremony


The Parthenon

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Americans associate the national tragedy that was 9/11 with panic, fear and sadness, but also with the courage and heroism that followed in the aftermath. For Huntington residents at Spring Hill Cemetery’s Patriot Day ceremony Monday, these emotions were palpable.

The Healing Field in Spring Hill Cemetery is a memorial for those who died Sept. 11, 2001, the 1970 Marshall plane crash victims and veterans of the armed forces.
(Parthenon photo by Lexi Browning)

When one teenager lost his father in the series of events, an unlikely friendship was formed from the finding of a picture.

“I was just trying to help out in a time of need like no other,” Huntington fire fighter Tom Bowen, who assisted in the recovery of victims’ bodies, said. “It was so hard not to humanize 9/11 victims when you found them. I couldn’t just find someone and then move on.”

A current resident of Huntington, Bowen said he knew he needed to go help in any way he could. After days of going through rubble at Ground Zero, he came upon a man who still had his wallet in his pocket. When Bowen opened the wallet, he saw a picture of what he assumed was the man’s family.

The deceased man had, at the time, a 14-year-old son who said he had many unanswered questions.

“At the time, I tried not to think about the sadness, I pressed it down and made it go away,” Anthony Picerno, the son of a 9/11 victim, said. “I eventually realized that it was something permanent and decided to try to look past the sadness and at the entirety of the situation instead.”

The responder and the victim’s son now see each other around this time every year, but this year was a little different. Spring Hill Cemetery in Huntington now has officially unveiled its newest memorial. Complete with dedicated names and two beams from the fallen Towers themselves, the memorial is open to the public and will be a place of remembrance for years to come.

Brooke Griffin can be contacted at

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