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Dawson to observe Patriot Day
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Patriot Day

Local law enforcement, emergency medical personnel and residents will honor victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center during a Patriot Day ceremony to be held Thursday, Sept. 11, starting at 9 a.m. at Fire Station No. 1 on Memory Lane.

On Sept. 11, 2001,19 men hijacked four fully-fueled commercial airlines bound for west coast destinations. Two jets were intentionally crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan killing 2,753 people, including everyone on board both flights. A third jet was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 184. Near Shanksville, Penn., a fourth jet crashed into a field, killing its 40 passengers and crew. It is believed hijackers never reached their intended target after passengers and crew attempted to retake control of the flight deck.

A total of 2,977 people, aged two to 85, were killed in the attacks orchestrated by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Of those, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were New York City police officers, and 37 were officers with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The event is "in recognition of those who lost their lives and those who stood in the way of terrorism here and overseas," Emergency Services Director Billy Thurmond said.

Students from local schools and members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Dawson County Chapter #970 will participate in the event with Dawson County High School JROTC presenting the colors. The Dawson County Middle Schools choir will perform.

Attendees will hear a message from Dawson County Emergency Services Chaplain Charles Blackstock.

"The middle schools chorus, representing 200 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from both Dawson County middle schools, will be performing The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America at the observance event," Kevin Woody, director of the choir said. "I'm excited about this opportunity because I feel that it is extremely important for our students to recognize and honor both our fallen heroes from September 11th, as well as heroes in uniform today, including both military and public safety individuals that protect and serve this great country we live in."

Dawson County has recognized Patriot Day annually since 2007, according to Kristi Hudson, public information coordinator for Dawson County.

Although not a federal holiday, Patriot Day is recognized as a national day of service and remembrance. September 11 was officially named Patriot Day in 2001 by Congress.