Pastor remembers two Mississippians killed during 9/11 - - Jackson, MS

Pastor remembers two Mississippians killed during 9/11

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By Ashley Conroy

DURANT, MS (WLBT) -- Saturday Sept. 11th, 2010 marks nine years after tragedy struck the nation. Two Mississippians lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks.

National Geographic photographer, Joe Ferguson was on board American Airlines flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon. Lifetime friend, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Don Dickerson Jr., was working inside the Pentagon.

Both men were from Durant, MS where they grew up a few blocks away from one another. Retired Pastor Ed McDaniel said he was a friend and confidant to the two men and knew them growing up.

"We all felt the hurt, we all felt the grief and we felt helpless to know what to do," McDaniel said.

McDaniel says both Dickerson and Ferguson were like children of his own. He says when he learned of what happened to them, he was devastated.

 "It's just so tragic and so senseless. And I think the biggest thing is trying to put your arms around why, and then you know it's just bad people doing bad things."

On Friday, Pastor McDaniel paid a visit to their memorial site in downtown Durant. One site was dedicated by the city and the other by the state of Mississippi.

McDaniel says he will forever cherish the blessing of watching these boys grow up to become men.

"Here were two guys that were professional at every level. Highly driven, highly motivated had done everything in life that they could do to ensure their dream."

WLBT spoke with Dickerson's father Jerry Don Dickerson Sr., and Ferguson's mother Barbara Harrell several days after the 9/11 attacks. Since then, both have passed away.

Pastor McDaniel says he feels it's his duty to continue remembering the two men.

"I am proud that we are here not to forget. Thank you for being here to help us retell the story."

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