Thomasville- Major General Stephen Johnson was the highest ranking Marine in Iraq in 2005. Monday, he took part in a Red, White, and Blue Salute in Thomasville. The event honored those who protect our freedoms abroad and at home.
Many people in Thomasville remember exactly where they were five years ago when the first plane struck the World Trade Center.
"Sitting in front of my television set, amazed at what was going on," said Bettylu Bracey.
"I thought about it today as I was coming here, how much today, looked like the same day, five years ago," said Sheriff Carlton Powell, Thomas County.
That's why it was important to gather in a Red, White, and Blue Salute honoring the service men and women currently fighting for freedom in Iraq and the first responders who keep us safe day to day.
"Really on the local level this is our first line of defense, and I think with an enemy like we're facing today, we have a real task of identifying people and sometime a major forest fire started with just a small light," said Powell.
A flag from the USS Theodore Roosevelt that flew during the opening rounds of the war with Afghanistan set the backdrop to honor those who still fight today.
"If you're going to be successful in a long war, you've got to have the people who are willing to be there for you and I think today is a chance to honor those people," said Major General Stephen T. Johnson, USMC.
It stressed the importance of remembering the sacrifices many made five years ago.
"What we have to do in the future is remember those feelings we had that day and realize that there are people who mean us ill and that this is not something that was a one time event," said Johnson.
So in the event of another attack, the country will be ready to defend itself.
Proceeds from today's luncheon will help purchase phone cards and other needed items for hospitalized wounded service men and women. The Major General spoke again Monday night at seven at the Thomasville Cultural Center.