Created: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 03:36:00 EST
Updated: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 07:44:42 EST
The sacrifices of the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were remembered Wednesday in ceremonies in middle Georgia.
The Macon-Bibb Law Enforcement Foundation hosted a community memorial ceremony in Public Safety Memorial Park, at Second and Mulberry streets in downtown Macon.
The brief, poignant ceremony included the presentation of colors by the Honor Guard, laying of wreaths, placing of flowers on the memorials honoring fallen members of the Macon Police Department, the Macon-Bibb Fire Department and the Bibb Sheriff's Office. The ceremony ended with a rendition of Amazing Grace on bagpipe and a flyover by the Georgia State Patrol.
The memorials serve as a reminder of the 2,977 victims whose lives were lost in terror attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, PA.
Hundreds gathered in Fort Valley to pay tribute at Fort Valley State University.
The FVSU marching band led a procession of people on a walk to remember.
The day is especially painful for FVSU student Ciera Murphy, who was only 5 on Sept. 11 but remembers the loss of her favorite uncle, who was in the World Trade Center.
"They were in one of the towers and it came down on them," she said. At the time, the freshman student said, she didn't understand terrorism or the events of the day.
"I can't get him back, I'll never get him back. And I don't understand why," she said.
At a memorial inside the Pettigrew Center, keynote speaker retired Army Major Gen. Charles Hood called for people to not just acknowledge the day but to remember it.
"We respond in a time of an emergency and then we forget and we fade off back to our comfort zone," he said.
To help unify FVSU campus and remember the day, school officials unveiled USA Square, with a display of flags symbolizing what makes America strong.
USA Square will become part of the university's concept of creating a global village.