Newnan Remembers Victims of 9/11
by Wes Mayer
Newnan and Coweta County honored the victims of 9/11 as well as the men and women serving our country at ceremonies on the Court Square Wednesday morning.
The memorial service began at 9 a.m. on the west side of the historic Coweta County Courthouse. Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager gave opening remarks followed by an invocation from Reverend Paul Dennis, the presentation of colors, the National Anthem performed by Brian McKenzie of the Coweta County Fire Department and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Newnan Mayor Keith Brady and Coweta County Commission Chairman Bob Blackburn spoke about Sept. 11 now being known as Patriot Day, a day on which America recognizes its men and women in the service of our country, at home and overseas. The city of Newnan’s police and fire departments held this year’s tribute in conjunction with Coweta County Sheriff and Fire, Coweta County EMS and the United States Military.
An honor guard was composed of representatives from all Coweta public safety departments under acting commander Cpl. Floyd Boswell with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, said Newnan Police Deputy Chief Rodney Riggs, the ceremony’s coordinator. There were three color guards presenting each flag’s colors — one composed of personnel from the Coweta County Fire Department, one from the Newnan Police Department, and the third with a combination of Newnan Police and the Newnan Fire Department.
This year, Newnan High School history students presented five memorial wreaths, and Riggs explained they represented the 2,977 people who lost their lives on 9/11. The first wreath was a memorial to the civilians, the second for the members of the New York Fire Department, the third for the law enforcement officers who fought to restore order, the fourth for the emergency medical service personnel and the fifth to represent the 46,000 men and women who have gone to serve the military and fight terrorism since 2001.
“On that day, Al-Qaeda was celebrating a victory,” Riggs said. “Today they are no longer rejoicing.” At the conclusion of the presentation of the wreaths, Renee Windom sang God Bless America, and the colors were dropped to half-staff.
The ceremony closed with a rifle salute from the sheriff’s office, bugle taps from the county fire department and a closing prayer by Reverend Frank Power. The ceremony ended with closing remarks from Newnan Police Chief Douglas L. “Buster” Meadows.
“We must never forget the price we pay for freedom,” Meadows said. “Each day that price goes up.”