UNA alumnus remembered in 9/11 memorial ceremony

FLORENCE, Ala. -- A day of remembrance; reverence for those who died in the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. Cadets with The University of North Alabama ROTC program held a 9/11 memorial service Tuesday morning to honor an alumnus killed in the Pentagon attack.

Cadets saluted a wreath placed on the Memorial Amphitheater honoring Major Dwayne Williams, as his wife looked on in the crowd.

“At that time, it didn’t even dawn on me outside of the fact that it was the Pentagon that I had personally been affected, the University of North Alabama had been affected and Jacksonville, Alabama had been affected,” stated retired Col. Rae Antencio to the gathered crowd.

Tammy Williams (middle)

17-years ago, Major Williams kissed his wife goodbye and headed to work at the Pentagon. It was the last time the two would see each other.

“It was difficult, but it was ten days that I thought my husband was coming home. So, it wasn’t until the [September] 21st that I was standing in the window and saw the soldiers coming to my door,” Tammy Williams explained.

“Today is a hard day; today we reopen a wound that will never heal,” LTC. Perry Bolding told the audience.

Major Dwayne Williams

Mrs. Williams says even though time has passed it doesn’t get any easier; she’s just learned to cope.

“Even though he loved what he did, and he would have given it had he had to go, he did that all with pride and dignity, but it was taken. But, he did die loving what he done,” Williams stated.

A university family wrapping arms around their own and remembering those who were taken away.

The family of Major Dwayne Williams are establishing an endowment scholarship at the University of North Alabama to keep his memory alive. Williams played football for the Lions from 1979 to 1982. After graduation, he joined the United States Army.