Fallen heroes honored

Published 5:55 pm Friday, September 16, 2011

SHERIFF WILEY GRIFFIN reads a list of names of the local emergency responders and support staff who passed away between 2001-2011 at a special ceremony honoring them and the victims of the 9/11 attacks. As Griffin read each name, Bainbridge High School Band member Caleb Ford rung a bell in remembrance.

A memorial service honoring the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, as well as fallen local heroes, was held in downtown Bainbridge on Wednesday.

One of the most solemn moments of the ceremony, held around noon on Wednesday in Willis Park, was when Sheriff Wiley Griffin read the names of who have passed away in the past 10 years. As Sheriff Griffin read each name, Bainbridge High School band member Caleb Ford rang a hand bell in remembrance.

Local emergency responders and support staff who were honored during the ceremony included: Lottie Authur, Jimmy Bellflower, Willis Biggles, John Boyd, Ray Cook, Pamela Dassdorf, Carl Davis, Robert S. Duncan, Charlotte Elkins, Carl Fallous, Carlton E. “Bud” Gause, Robert Griffin, Phillip Kelly, Charles Moore, Jerome Rentz, Lance Robinson, Steve Singleton, Dan Smith, Wanda Stout and Melanie Wood.

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The names of many of the emergency responders who died in the Sept. 11 attacks, including at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the World Trade Center in New York, were displayed on a special quilt near the Willis Park gazebo.

Lt. Buddy Johnson of the Georgia State Patrol, who hails from Colquitt, Ga., sang the National Anthem, as well as Alan Jackson’s song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning,” a song that reflects on the emotions caused by 9/11. The Bainbridge High School concert band played a medley of patriotic songs.

Speakers at Wednesday’s ceremony included Bainbridge Public Safety Chief Investigator Frank Green, Decatur County Fire and Rescue Charlie McCann, Emergency Medical Services Director Bill Hogan. Others participating were Ken Davidson, the chaplain for the Sheriff’s Office; Dewitt Phillips, a volunteer firefighter who is a chaplain for Fire and Rescue; and BPS Major Walter Landrum, who led the pledge.

The BHS Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard presented the flags of the United States and the State of Georgia.