Albany remembers 9/11 -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany remembers 9/11

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

September 11, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's the seventh anniversary of the day America was attacked by terrorists, and Thursday, people in Albany will pause to remember the victims of 9/11 and fallen soldiers in the war on terrorism.

Nearly one thousand flags are now flying on the west side of the Albany Mall in honor and memory of veterans and first responders. At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the names of 140 Georgians will be read aloud in a ceremony outside the Albany Mall. They are the names of Georgia soldiers who lost their lives in the war on terrorism. Thursday many people stopped at the Patriots Field of Flags to remember the events of 9/11 and those who have given their lives to protect our freedom.

The sound of nearly one thousand flags rippling in the breeze broke the silence outside the Albany Mall. Several stopped to snap pictures of the patriotic site, veterans like 91 year old Jessie Piland paused to remember the fallen.

"It's a sad day really," said Jessie Piland, a World War Two Veteran.

One flag bears the name of Sgt. Steve McCoy of Moultrie who died earlier this year from injuries in a March explosion in Iraq. Another honors first responder, Sheriff- elect Kevin Sproul. Thursday he read the names of Georgians who gave their lives.

"No matter what we do we can never bring them back, but the least we can do is honor these people by reading their names to their family members and let them know we have not forgotten their effort that they put forth," said Dougherty County Sheriff Elect Kevin Sproul.

An effort that is put forth every day, not just September 11th. This year 88 firefighters have died in the line of duty, their deaths haven't received national attention, but many feel they should be honored just the same.

"If you see a fireman on the streets waive to him because quite frankly it may be the last day that he's around. Literally the bell could go off at any time and he'll have to put his life in jeopardy," said Albany Fire Chief James Carswell.

More people are remembering those sacrifices, and the Exchange Club of Southwest Georgia's Patriots Field of Flags is a good reminder.

"I'm glad that I live in a country such a great country as this. The flag stands for truth justice and liberty and for the tranquility of every man," said George Lorenza.

Raffle Tickets will also be sold for a patriotically decorated golf cart. Proceeds will benefit the Georgia National Guard Family Resource Foundation and local charities that prevent child abuse.