Police Chief Barry Rountree reflects on 9/11

Police Chief Barry Rountree reflects on 9/11
September 10
00:00 2015

Above photo: Chief Police Barry Roundtree

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, Barry Rountree, chief of the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD), gave his reflections on the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.

This Friday, Sept. 11, will mark the 14-year anniversary of the day 19 militants associated with the extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States.

Rountree’s reflections were part of the 9/11 Day of Remembrance organized by the Love Community Development Corporation.

During his speech to the community and members of the WSPD, Rountree asked everyone to think back to what they were doing when they got the news of the attacks.

Rountree, who has been police chief since 2004, said he can recall that he was in Raleigh attending a management course when he heard the news.

“We had just started the class when someone ran in and instructed us to turn on the TV, said Rountree. “ Being in a room full of police officers, we all started to call around to see if we could find out any new information that had been left out.”

“My thoughts and views on 9/11 is that it was a day of calculation, grief, courage and a day of determination.”

Rountree said although the attacks were calculated and caused a lot a grief, they also showed him how much courage and determination the citizens of this country have.

“We should think about the courage and dedication of the first responders, while everyone was running away, the firefighters, the emergency EMS, and the police officers were running into the fire. That’s why, in my opinion, it was a day of courage.”

Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters. The attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon were the worst terrorist attacks on Americans since Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Rountree believes that although the attacks were meant to destroy America, it only made the country stronger. He went on to applaud everyday citizens for their courage and determination to help fellow citizens on that horrific day.

“It wasn’t only just the professionals. There were a number of citizens who risked their own lives to help others,” said Rountree. “After seeing all the devastation, we as Americans became determined to become stronger and find out who carried out the attacks.”

“We were determined to rebuild. I believe this is the same determination that we have right here with our citizens and first responders in Winston-Salem,” Rountree said.

After Rountree’s speech, Dr. Kathy Kenney gave her reflections on the day. On the morning of 9/11, Kenney was in New York City, were she was working at the time.

Kenney said its hard to forget about the things she saw on that clear Tuesday morning, but said the attacks have taught her to become more involved in the community and in improving and securing the quality of life for all Americans.

“We shouldn’t just be mourning those we have lost on this day, but we should also use it as a day and time to improve the lives of those who are still here,” Kenney said.

“As you serve people, celebrate who they are, celebrate the fact that it is a chance for all of us to be in this community together.”

Refreshments were served after the ceremony.

Pastor Angeline Sumpter, overseer and CEO of the Love Community Development Corporation, said she couldn’t have been happier with the event and the guest speakers. Sumpter also thanked the WSPD for all the work they do in the community.

“I would like to thank the Winston-Salem Police Department for everything they do,” said Sumpter. “I have seen a major change in the city since I first came here in 2004.”





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