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A moment to pause
Community remembers fallen, honors service
2 911 Memorial pic1
JROTC cadets stand at attention during the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Fire Station 1 on Memory Lane. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

It has been 12 years since the United States suffered a terrible terroristic attack.

Each year since then, local first responders have paused to remember the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.

Perhaps fittingly, Dawson County Emergency Services held the 2013 ceremony at Fire Station 1 on Memory Lane.

"We always want to remember those that perished on Sept. 11, 2001," said Billy Thurmond, director. "We also want to remember those that served this great nation since that date. The events of 9/11 forever changed America."

The event was a somber one, punctuated by the presentation of colors by the Dawson County High School JROTC and a performance of the national anthem by the high school chorus.

"We tend to use the word ‘remembrance' quite a bit. That's why we're here today - to remember," said Dawson County Chaplain Mike Owens. "The word literally means ‘to recall to the mind with effort.' In engineering, it means ‘to return to an original shape or form after being deformed."

Owens used those definitions to tell the crowd about how the nation was reforming itself back to its original shape, but its people were having no difficulties recalling past events.

"This is a day that changed the world forever," Owens said.

As he gave his speech at the ceremony, he invoked two past "remembers" in our nation's history - the Alamo and Pearl Harbor.

"I have been privileged to stand in the Alamo and had time to reflect on what helped form our nation. I've stood on the deck, or what's left of it, at a memorial for the [USS] Arizona at Pearl Harbor," he said. "We are here to honor and remember. Today, we honor those that lost their lives and their families."

As the ceremony drew to a close, Owens, who is also a local pastor, honored those who had lost their lives and those in blue and red who still serve.

"We honor all the law enforcement and the firefighters and the first responders who never thought for a moment about their own safety that day, but rushed to the aid of others," he said. "We honor, we remember and we will never forget."