DeKalb County never forgets

Pictured is Craig White leading members of the DeKalb County law enforcement and firefighting communities in prayer on the courthouse steps on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001.

The community is invited to attend this year’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at the DeKalb County Courthouse steps.

The 11 a.m. ceremony is set to lead participants in a public remembrance of the victims of four coordinated terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic extremist group al-Queda on Sept. 11, 2001. According to 911memorial.org, nearly 3,000 people from 93 nations were killed; 2,753 in New York, 184 at the Pentagon and 40 people on Flight 93.

Nineteen years later, a group in DeKalb County hopes to keep the incident fresh in citizens' minds.

“It’s been 19 years,” Craig White said. “We’ve got a generation that doesn’t even know or remember what happened.”

White, pastor at Pisgah Baptist Church, is now retired from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office but helped lead the first gathering on the courthouse steps after the attacks in 2001. First responders from DeKalb County led a ceremony on Sept. 12, 2001 to pray and remember the lives lost just one-day prior.

Since then, he and Steven Whited, instructor of Criminal Justice at Northeast Alabama Community College, have organized one other ceremony in 2013. Now, they said it’s time to remind people of the sacrifice made by first responders and residents 19 years ago.

“I don’t think we need to forget the sacrifice that was made just by people going to work that day,” White said. “Yes, the police, the fire, the medics as well, but citizens just went to work and they didn’t come home.”

White said as Americans, we need to think back to a time when our country had a common goal and purpose.

“This is just something that we don’t need to forget,” he said. “In a time when our country is divided, this is something that for a brief moment in time, our country was unified. We all had one purpose. We were just citizens of this country, and I think that we need to remember what that means. It’s tough that a tragedy brought us to that, but for a moment we all had one common goal and that was to protect the individuals of our country.”

Event organizers ask that anyone in the DeKalb County area with a connection to the incident and who would like to participate in the ceremony to contact White at 256-630-0362.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved into the second floor courtroom. For updates or information on the event, follow @Sheepdogsix on Facebook.

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