By Sarrah Peters
On Wednesday, September 11, the City of Gadsden Beautification Board held its annual 9-11 Memorial at Patriots Park, located at the corner of Broad and Fourth streets in downtown Gadsden.
Gadsden Beautification Board Chairperson Pat Sherman welcomed everyone to the event.
Gadsden City District 1 Councilwoman Dr. Cynthia Toles gave the invocation. The Gadsden Fire Department Honor Guard lowered the flag to half-mast. The Gadsden City Schools JROTC coordinator Carl Harrison led the Pledge of Allegiance. Gadsden City Clerk Iva Nelson sang the National Anthem.
Sherman addressed the crowd, noting that several Gadsden Beautification Board members lost friends during the tragic events in 2001.
“I’m sure maybe some of you have and know people who have lost people,” said Sherman. “I know exactly where I was. When the first plane hit, it was like a big mistake. Someone got lost. Somebody didn’t know what was happening. But when that second plane hit, we knew. And we will never forget. I will encourage each of you to think back especially on 9-11. It brought this nation together. It made us stronger. We will always love this nation. We showed how strong we were and can be and we will be.”
Sherman highlighted a banner that hanging at the service commemorating September 11. The banner was created by Trim It Up’s Tommy Hazelrig before he passed away last year.
“I just want you all to remember where you were and never forget,” said Sherman. “We are a great nation.”
The Gadsden State Community College Choir performed a medley of patriotic songs. After a moment of silence, the event was closed with the playing of “Taps” and a bagpipe performance by Cecil Knowles.
Sponsors for the event included the Gadsden Beautification Board; Downtown Gadsden Inc., Director Kay Moore; City of Gadsden Parks and Recreation; City of Gadsden Public Works Department; City of Gadsden Mayor’s Office; City of Gadsden City Clerk’s Office; the Gadsden City Council, Cecil Knowles; and Lieutenant Colonel Carl Harrison, coordinator of the Gadsden City High School ROTC.