Local first responders will pause for a moment Friday to remember the 411 firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel lost 14 years ago in what many consider the most devastating acts of terrorism the nation has experienced.
A special Sept. 11 memorial service in observance of Patriot Day will be held at 9 a.m. at Fire Station No. 1, on Memory Lane in Dawsonville.
The ceremony is Dawson County's emergency response workers' way of continuing the commitment to "never forget" an event that will forever stay with the lives of every American.
"It's important for us as a department to do our part to make sure those who are lost are not forgotten," said Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford.
Dawson County High School's JROTC is set to present the nation's colors with members of the Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter No. 970 leading the pledge.
A chorus combined of students from Dawson County and Riverview middles schools will also perform during the service.
Chaplain Charles Blackstock will offer the message of remembrance.
"Sept. 11 is the day that changed our lives and a day that, today, we pause to remember," he said during last year's service. "Many remember where you were on that day, remember the events of your life distinctly where you were when you got the news."
Of the 2,977 victims killed in the 2001 attacks, 343 were firefighters, 60 were police officers and eight were emergency medical technicians or paramedics in New York City who responded to the World Trade Center.
"We look back on the heroism of that day and pause to remember the sacrifice of these men and women. The events of that day did not define them as heroes; it just revealed them as heroes," Blackstock said.
"Looking back on this day, these actions have become iconic about what it means to be a first responder, what it means to place your lives in the line of duty for the protection of other citizens."