Elected officials and several pastors spoke at the Sept. 11 memorial event, offering solemn words of remembrance and emphasizing the profound effects of unity.
Young Harris Mayor Andrea Gibby shared opening remarks. “So many times this particular community comes together for all kinds of things, from events to dinners, to plays to fun, but today, you came together, we came together to remember what happened, to pay tribute, and to never forget that horrible things can happen, and we can still come together as a community, and hopefully not only remember those that we lost, but prevent something terrible from happening again,” Gibby said. “I haven’t fought like some of you have. I haven’t been in war. I haven’t fought fires or fought criminals, but like many people across our nation, I’m here with you to remember and pay respect to those people who lost their lives.”
Appalachian Saint Andrews Pipes played somber tunes, and several prayers were said throughout the ceremony. Towns County Fire Chief Harold Copeland tolled a bell in honor of the thousands of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
“When you think about the pride and patriotism, you know, just a couple of days after this happened, you couldn’t find an American flag nowhere,” Towns County Fire Chief Harold Copeland recalled. “They were all sold out. You couldn’t find a flag. They were lining sidewalks all over the county. People had them on their vehicles, in their yards, everywhere. And as Mayor Gibby said, there was bi-partisianship and I know we don’t see that. Can it happen again? Can it happen today? Could it be a nuke, cyber attack? It could happen any minute, and I can assure you that everybody out here – there’s law enforcement in uniform, firefighters in uniform…our EMS people…they’re ready to respond just like they did on 9/11.”
Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw said that the Sept.11 memorial ceremony will become an annual event in Towns County.
Feature Image: Towns County School Resource Officer and Pastor Donnie Jarrard kneeling in prayer.