It’s been 14 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against our nation, and on Friday morning, many of Fayette County’s responders remembered the men and women who lost their lives.
The morning began promptly at 9:10 a.m. in front of the Washington C.H. Fire Department with a countywide siren and a tolling of the bells, commemorating the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Color Guard presented both the American flag and the Ohio flag while Ed Helt sang the Star Spangled Banner.
Grace United Methodist’s minister, Mell Wickensimer, led the crowd in an invocation asking for understanding, strength, and consolation before Fayette County’s Emergency Management Agency Director Fulton Terry introduced the speaker.
“This is our way of honoring the first responders and remembering those who lost their lives,” Terry said. “I don’t want us to ever forget what happened that day.”
Keven R. Clouse, Master Exercise Practitioner of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, is a former field liaison for Fayette County. Clouse is a decorated veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he earned a bronze star for merit as a member of the 4th Infantry Division.
“We need to come together as an entire community to face these threats and be ever vigilant and ever prepared,” said Clouse. “It will take the strength and support of the entire community to look out for and take care of each other. I encourage you to look for opportunities to give back in any way that you can.”
Representatives from the Washington C.H. Fire Department, Fayette County local fire houses, the Washington C.H. Police Department, and Fayette County Sheriff’s Office took turns ringing a bell to acknowledge the lives lost in the attacks. Many local residents also attended the ceremony.
The morning concluded with the Fayette County Veteran’s Honor Guard performing a 21-gun salute followed by Taps and a moment of silence. Ed Helt then led the crowd in a rendition of “God Bless America” as the morning’s ceremony came to a close.
Reach Kellee Bonnell at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @newskelleebee.