Valdosta may have been far from New York City and Washington, D.C. at the time of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2011, but its citizens have not forgotten the wave of patriotism the country felt that day.
Two memorials are scheduled to take place on Sunday to commemorate 9/11, one at the Lowndes County Courthouse and the other in front of West Hall.
The ceremony on the front lawn of the courthouse will begin at 8:30 a.m., and will start with a welcome from Moody Air Force Base Commander Col. Billy Thompson.
VSU Mass Choir and the St John’s Children’s Choir will perform with Valdosta Fire Department Pipe and Drum Corps performing “Amazing Grace.”
The Valdosta and Lowndes County fire chiefs will also be in attendance to honor the public safety personnel killed during rescue attempts on 9/11.
Col. Neil Robinson, 23rd Maintenance Group Commander at Moody Air Force Base, who was at the Pentagon on 9/11, will speak at the event about his experiences from that day.
To conclude the event, Don McArthur’s bugle performance of “TAPS” will be synchronized to the A-10 flyover by the 76th Fighter Squadron.
The Valdosta Exchange Club will provide those in attendance with handheld American flags, and public safety personnel will give out “Valdosta-Lowndes County Will Never Forget 9-11” arm bands.
“This year is definitely different,” Brittany Daniel, a senior sociology major, said. “The country is really coming together.”
VSU’s Division of Student Affairs has scheduled its ceremony for 8 p.m. It will include a partial reading of the 9/11 Commission Report, followed by a moment of silence, a playing of “TAPS” and a candlelight vigil. VSU Interim President Dr. Louis Levy will speak at the event.
“It’s so far in the past, and we’ve come far enough away from it as a country to understand what it meant,” Tyler Roberts, a senior mass media major, said. “I’m glad we’re getting our troops out of the Middle East now.”
McKey St., Toombs St., and nearby government parking lots will be available for parking. For more information, contact the City of Valdosta Public Information Office at (229) 259-3548 or the Lowndes County Public Information Office at (229) 671-2400.
For more information on VSU’s ceremony, contact Thressea Boyd, assistant to the president for communications, at 229-333-2157, or Malynda Dorsey, communications specialist, at 229-333-7177.