ALBANY — The date Sept.11, 2001, will live on in Americans’ hearts and minds as, simply, “9/11,” the day our country was stunned by terrorists who hijacked planes and crashed them into New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon in our nation’s capital.
A fourth plane was to have been flown into the White House, but brave passengers aboard that flight sacrificed themselves and their fellow passengers by rushing the cockpit, forcing terrorists to abandon their plans to crash into the White House and, instead, complete their suicide mission in a field in Pennsylvania.
Southwest Georgians will have two opportunities to commemorate the losses our nation suffered in the tragic 9/11 terror attacks later Wednesday. The Albany Fire Department and Chief Cedric Scott are hosting a memorial ceremony at the Veterans Park Amphitheatre in downtown Albany at 6 p.m. The commemoration by the brotherhood of fire fighters, many among whose ranks in the New York Fire Department lost their lives while trying to rescue citizens during the fall of the Twin Towers, will include post-ceremony refreshments in the Flint RiverQuarium.
An hour later, at 7 p.m., Albany-based American Legion Post 30 and other veterans organizations will gather adjacent to the Field of Flags at the Albany Mall to commemorate the tragic loss of American lives to terrorist organizations.
The ceremony will begin with a bagpipe introduction by retired Marine Dan Gillan, which will be followed immediately by the presentation of the colors by members of the Westover High School Marine JROTC program. The WHS band and chorus will perform the National Anthem, and greetings will be offered by Albany City Commissioner Roger Marietta and Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas.
Following special music by the Westover High band and chorus, Col. Alphonso Trimble, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, will offer a keynote address. Trimble was at the Pentagon when one of the terrorist planes struck that edifice.
Special recognition of Georgians who have died in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iran since 2011 will follow Trimble’s remarks, and a rifle salute will be carried out by members of American Legion Post 30. Following the playing of “Taps,” Gillan will close the event with bagpipe music.
Both events are free and open to the public.