Residents of Dawson County paid tribute Friday to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the eighth anniversary of the event.
“Everyone remembers exactly where they were when they first heard the news,” said Chad Rogers, one of two chaplains for Dawson County Public Safety.
“Every individual that is standing here this morning was affected in some way by what happened in 2001.”
He reflected on the lives lost during the tragedy, and challenged those present to make the most of each day, expressing love and thanks to family members and co-workers.
“Sept. 11 reminds us of where we all are today,” Rogers said. “There were people killed that did not get to kiss their loved ones goodbye, words they could have said that they did not get the chance to say.
“Enjoy the blessings that you have right now today. Let’s not be hasty in remembering the past, but let us be hasty in taking care of the necessities today. We never know when tragedy will hit.”
The flags in front of the station were flown at half staff, as ordered by Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Capt. Jamerson Kerby of Dawson County Emergency Services was one of several public safety members to attend the ceremony, and said it was a tasteful and appropriate way to honor those who are no longer with us today.
“Even eight years later, we still need to remember what happened and take some time out of our day to pay our respects,” Kerby said. “Chad Rogers delivered an excellent message, and this year has been the biggest turnout so far.”
Billy Thurmond, director of emergency services, was pleased with the turnout.
“It continues to grow each year,” Thurmond said. “This is an occasion that we always want to remember, and remember those who lost their lives that day.”
The ceremony ended with a moment of silence shortly after 9 a.m., recognizing the time when the first aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City.