Remembering 9/11 – Newnan salutes victims of 2001 terrorist attacks
By ALEX MCRAE
The Newnan and Coweta County public safety community held a Sept. 11, 2001, tribute ceremony Tuesday morning on West Court Square in downtown Newnan, honoring all who died during the terrorist attacks 11 years ago.
Special recognition was given to six local men who have since made the ultimate sacrifice for their country while fighting the War on Terror.
Five wreaths were also in place to honor the civilians, firefighters, emergency medical responders, law enforcement officers and military personnel who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
A large crowd was present for the proceedings. The group included members of the Newnan Police Department, Coweta County Sheriff's Office, Newnan Fire Department, Coweta County Fire Department, Coweta County EMS and the Georgia State Patrol.
Newnan Police Chief Douglas "Buster" Meadows began the program by thanking everyone for coming and remembering the military and first responders who died on 9/11.
"When duty called, they responded without hesitation," Meadows said. "We also remember their families and lift them up in our thoughts and prayers."
Newnan Deputy Police Chief Rodney Riggs introduced the joint public safety honor guard, which presented the colors. After the flags were raised, Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager led the Pledge of Allegiance. Coweta County Commissioner Rodney Brooks read a proclamation from the Coweta County Board of Commissioners supporting the local event and honoring all who died on 9/11. Newnan City Councilman Ray DuBose then read a proclamation by the City of Newnan supporting the event and remembering those who perished on 9/11.
Following the proclamations, Allen Windom, of Coweta County EMS sang Newnan native Alan Jackson's song "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?" which was written shortly after 9/11 to remember the event.
Riggs gave remarks, beginning by asking "Where were you" on Sept. 11, 2001. He recounted his personal story and what was happening that morning in Newnan and said that every American would always remember where they were and what they were doing when planes struck the twin towers and the Pentagon and crashed in Pennsylvania.
The six local servicemen who gave their lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti, Africa, during the War on Terror were then honored individually. As each was honored, family members or representatives placed a flower arrangement at the picture of their loved one while remarks were made about their lives and service to their country.
Flags were lowered to half staff, a rifle salute was presented and the ceremony closed with the playing of "Taps."
In addition to Tuesday's Court Square ceremony, a Memory Walk was held in tribute to those who lost their lives and responded to help on 9/11. The walk went from the Newnan city park at Temple Avenue and Jackson Street through downtown to Greenville Street Park where a short ceremony was held. A number of local Boy Scouts took part in the walk.