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9/11 Ceremony Remembers the Fallen, Honors Our Present First Responders

Oxford Fire Battalion Chief Timmy Dickinson prays during the 9/11 remembrance ceremony Tuesday at the Old Armory Pavilion.
Photo by Alyssa Schnugg

By Alyssa Schnugg
Staff writer

Several firefighters stood and quickly left the Old Armory Pavilion Tuesday morning during the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Ceremony to respond to a call.

“Be careful out there,” said Mississippi State Trooper Bubba Holifield, the guest speaker at the event.

It was a chilling reminder of the role first responders played 17 years ago and still play in protecting and serving their communities every day.

The 2018 LOU 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Ceremony was held at the Old Armory Pavilion Tuesday.
Photo by Alyssa Schnugg

On Sept. 11, 2001, 2,996 people were killed in terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and in Pennsylvania. Of those who died, 343 were firefighters, 72 were police officers and 55 were military personnel.

“I want to thank the men and women of our community … we don’t thank you enough for your service until we need you,” said Pastor Fish Robinson who gave the invocation. “As much as today is about the folks who gave their lives 17 years ago, this is about the men and women who serve this community today.”

Holifield said while Sept. 11 was tragic, Sept. 12, 2001, was a time to when the county came together, putting differences aside, and celebrated being citizens of the United States of America.

“We lost a lot of Americans, but the very next day we came together as one nation under God,” Holifield said. “We came together as one person, one body, we stood together, whether in New York or Washing, D.C. or here in Oxford Mississippi. We clung onto God that day. We weren’t separated red and blue. We weren’t separated as Republicans or Democrats. We were Americans. And that’s something that we need to do today.”

The OHS Marine Corps ROTC Color Guard present the colors during the ceremony.
Photo by Alyssa Schnugg

The ceremony kicked off with the Oxford High School Marine Corps ROTC Color Guard presenting the colors during a moment of silence for those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. The Lafayette High School Women’s Ensemble sang the national anthem.

After Holifield addressed the crowd, Bob Norman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office remembered his friend, the late Sheriff F.D. “Buddy” East, who died Saturday after a brief illness. East served as sheriff of Lafayette County for 46 years.

“Buddy East spent his time righting wrongs,” Normal said. “He spent his time helping people and making the wrong right.”

After the ceremony, local first responders were treated to lunch catered by Taylor Grocery.

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