Those in attendance paid tribute to the thousands of civilians and emergency service personnel America lost 10 years ago, and said ‘Thank You’ to the men and women who stand ready to rush to danger when their community calls.
An Ashe County Honor Guard detachment took the stage that included members of the West Jefferson Police Department, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Ashe County Honor Guard, and the 1450 Transportation Company.
“As the smoke billowed out of those towers…not a single person turned and ran. They moved towards the danger,” said President of the Ashe County Honor Guard Tim Winters.
Winters also thanked the nearly 4,500 American service men and women who have been killed in the service of their country since 9/11, and the many thousands who have been wounded.
“God bless the military who fight for us, the emergency service members who protect us, and God bless the USA,” said Winters.
Ashe County Commissioners Judy Porter Poe and Larry Rhodes, as well as Interim County Manager Dr. Patricia Mitchell also spoke at the event.
Mitchell told a story of her three grandchildren at a restaurant several months ago, who excused themselves from the table, walked across the restaurant, and thanked and spoke to four service members eating their lunch.
“May we all take the time to teach our children what happened, and instill in them the steel resolve that has always kept America great,” said Mitchell.
The Ashe County High School chorus, in addition to other patriotic songs, led the crowd in a rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The event also featured a photo montage set to Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” that brought tears to audience members.
After the commemoration service concluded, members of the National Guard, and the county’s 12 emergency service departments lined the walkways leading away from the Ashe County Civic Center, and the public offered their thanks to them as they passed through.
“I’d like to thank everyone for coming out here and supporting the men and women who help keep our community safe,” said Winters.