South Georgians honor those lost in 9/11 attacks - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgians honor those lost in 9/11 attacks

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Some of the flags placed outside the Albany Mall in honor of the Sept. 11th anniversary Some of the flags placed outside the Albany Mall in honor of the Sept. 11th anniversary
Chief James Carswell, Albany Fire Department Chief James Carswell, Albany Fire Department
Mayor Dorothy Hubbard Mayor Dorothy Hubbard
Helena Collins, Albany Girls Inc. Center Director Helena Collins, Albany Girls Inc. Center Director
Ivey Hines, Albany City Commissioner Ivey Hines, Albany City Commissioner
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The worst attack ever on American soil shook the nation to its core 12-years ago, killing nearly 3,000 people.  Wednesday, many South Georgians paused to honor them and remember that day.

The flags placed around the Albany Mall not only memorialize those who are forever laid to rest in the name of freedom, but also symbolize the will to overcome tremendous adversity.

It was a day people will never forget.

"I remember being at work.  And it was like everything stopped in our office," said Ivey Hines, Albany City Commissioner. 

"I was devastated.  I was devastated, also being young, but being at a maturity level to understand what had taken place," said Helena Collins, Albany Girls Inc. Center Director.

"We were on duty that day.  We watched the event that unfolded, and we felt for the firefighters in particular because we knew what they'd be trying to do," said Chief James Carswell, Albany Fire Department. 

The feelings of terror and horror on the day that changed history left marks that will last a lifetime.  But the anniversary of the attacks has unique meaning for each of us.

"This, for me, lets us know that we just gotta pray harder for this world," said Sherrell Alexander, Albany Girls Inc. Executive Director.

This memorial outside the Albany mall not only honors the September 11th victims, but also south Georgians killed while serving our country in the military.  The small white crosses honor those who served the nation in World War II to those who continue to serve in the Middle East.

"It makes you think about how fortunate we are to have those kinds of freedoms, and how fortunate we are to have people willing to fight for those freedoms," said Mayor Dorothy Hubbard. 

But the day also memorialized the emergency responders who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.

"Obviously, 9/11 is very important to the country, but specifically to the profession of the firefighters.  But we also don't want to forget that even though there was a large number of firefighters lost on September 11th, there's been over 1000 firefighters lost since then," said Chief Carswell.

Now, the Albany Girls Incorporated Network is using the 9/11 anniversary and Patriot Day to teach the next generation about the nation's rich history.

"We wanted them to understand that being a patriot, being an American is more than just the appearance.  It's more than your citizenship, it's more than your birth certificate.  It's a way of living, it's a way of believing, and it's a way of dreaming," said Collins.

Tonight the organizers of the Field of Flags Memorial will read the names of those killed in action to cap off an emotional day of remembrance.  The flags will remain there until Sunday afternoon.

You're invited to a concert there Saturday night at 7pm.

 

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