Danny Bowmay 9-11 rememberanceClick to view the speech by Fire Chief Danny Bowman
Maskers 9-11 rememberanceClick to play the Maskers 9-11 rememberance video
Danny Bowman sobbed Thursday as he read a poem honoring firefighters and rescue personnel who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
Bowman, Forsyth County's fire chief, said the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11 were "doing what firemen were trained to do."
"They would say, 'Thank you for remembering us this morning. But please, don't forget our families, our children we left behind,'" he said.
Just as important, Bowman told the crowd of about 50 gathered in the Liberty Garden at the Central Park Recreation Center, residents should not forget that many, many other people died as well.
The event was one of three Thursday morning in Forsyth County that helped mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The ceremony at Central Park, which was sponsored by Keep Forsyth County Beautiful, also featured a performance by the Forsyth Central High School "Maskers," a drama troupe.
At Coal Mountain Elementary School, the main hallway was filled with patriotic artwork as local public safety workers sat together over a hot meal.
There was no celebration, just appreciation, during the Patriot Day luncheon, which included a rendition of “America the Beautiful” sung by Danielle Brown’s first-grade class.
Every so often, a class would stop by the cafeteria, thank the public safety personnel for their services and offer a hand-drawn card.
“I think it’s really important as a country that we don’t let our young people forget exactly what happened that day,” said Capt. Ron Freeman, commander of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office South Precinct.
“I’m big on our kids understanding about our country, where it came from … that the freedoms we have are not free and there have been people before us who have sacrificed everything they had so that we do have that freedom.”
The Forsyth Cumming Optimist Club welcomed Secretary of State Karen Handel to its meeting Thursday, the club’s biggest of the year.
The Army National Guard 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Honor Guard presented the colors at the luncheon, held at the Polo Golf and Country Club.
During her speech, Handel thanked members of the military for their service and talked about the importance of voting. Handel also encouraged Optimists to volunteer as poll workers during the November election.
Proceeds from the luncheon, one of the club’s two annual fundraisers, go toward scholarships and other youth-oriented initiatives.
For more on the local 9/11 activities, check back at forsythnews.com or see the next edition of the Forsyth County News.
Staff Writers Julie Arrington and Jennifer Sami contributed to this report.