ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Although many 9/11 events across the Albany area were canceled Friday, the Exchange Club of Albany still met for a socially distanced luncheon.
“It’s been 19 years since those planes flew into the towers. And to me, it just seems like yesterday, but it is, it’s real, real hard to believe. Almost 3,000 dead. And my recollection was that you thought the world was coming to an end. I mean, if you think about those feelings and emotions from that day, they’re, they’re powerful," said Steve Perrine, the vice president of the Albany Exchange Club.
After the “Pledge of Allegiance" and the singing of “God Bless America,” Perrine introduced the club’s guest speaker in honor of the national day of remembrance.
“Today we’ve got a special guest. And I’m gonna be introducing Col. Phillip Millard of the United States Marine Corps reserves, he’s retired," said Perrine.
Col. Millerd is currently employed as the comptroller at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany.
During his career, he has been deployed four times.
On the way home from one of his tours, he wrote an ode to the flag.
“There it stands, as a witness for the kingdom of freedom, it watches over all that have sacrificed. For which, some have given it all to keep it standing. To which, it will cover them, and will be passed to the next of kin," said Millerd.
Millerd then gave an ode to those who went to serve and protect on this day 19 years ago.
“We watched as towers fell. Once again, we heard the bell. To the might and to the young, went for the cry. The Honorable came forward to vanquish a foe of the Free,” said Col. Millerd.
And before his time at the podium was finished, he left the members of the exchange club with a challenge.
“The cry to y’all today is 'Come one, come all. And remember past cries. Give me liberty or give me death. No taxation without representation. Don’t tread on me. In God we trust. Always heed the cry, freedom is not free. Today’s cry, remember 9/11. Thank you,” said Col. Millerd.