First responders joined onlookers in downtown Gainesville Tuesday, Sept. 11, to remember victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“As a nation, we should never forget this day. I know I never will,” Mayor Danny Dunagan told the crowd of about 100 in Roosevelt Square, where the Public Safety Monument stands.
“I want to ask every American to give thanks and honor to our public safety officials and those who serve in our military that work and sacrifice day in and day out to serve and protect citizens of this great nation.”
The ceremony was both patriotic and somber, with the singing of the national anthem and lowering the U.S. flag to half-staff at 9:59 a.m., when the World Trade Center’s South Tower collapsed in New York.
Then, at 10 a.m., one minute of silence was observed.
Also, during the ceremony, a fire station bell was rung in three series of five tolls. Signifying end of duty, the bell ringing is often played at a firefighter’s funeral as a “sign of respect and mourning,” said Gainesville Fire Department spokesman Keith Smith.
Smith presided over the event, which also involved personnel from the Gainesville Police Department, Hall County Fire Services, Hall County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia State Patrol.