Sunday afternoon, citizens of Clarke County gathered in Rose Hill Park to remember the tragic events that occurred ten years ago on September 11th 2001. The terrorist attacks that occurred that day forever changed our nation and directly impacted the lives of thousands of people in our area. Sunday’s memorial service featured a performance by the Clarke County Community Band and guest speaker, Lt Col (Ret) Rene White, USAF.
The Clarke County Community Band performed patriotic musical marches and the events were emceed by Jon Hudson who also sang rendition of Lee Greenwood’s song, “God Bless the USA.” The band also performed a medley of armed service themes and members of the armed services in the audience were recognized for their service.
The guest speaker, Lt Col (Ret) Rene White, USAF was on duty at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 and spoke of the impact the events had on our nation.
When we hear the phrase September 11th it immediately brings us back to where we were and what we were doing that day. On Sept 11 10 years ago attacks on American soil involved the hijacking of four commercial airline passenger aircraft, the subsequent destruction of those planes destroyed the World Trade Center, severely damage to the pentagon and killed 2974 people.
Today we still battle the political and economic consequences of 9/11. We battle anger against forgiveness…
Lt Col White spoke of the ways that art can create peace and heal. She connected the idea to the newly opened Barns of Rose Hill saying:
Both war and peace can change the world. We need more peacemakers. I believe the Barns of Rose Hill standing behind us can be a peace place where we can meet and have intense conversations. Art is one of those things that heals us. I believe the arts are a model for us on how we need to value each person, male or female. Artists open our hearts to sit and listen to the world around us.
I believe we can use the Barns of Rose Hill as a shared space where we can speak complex questions, maybe even grow a few peacemakers.
Her words always pointed back to community and the ability everyone has to make a difference at the community level.
Together we are stronger as a community. Together we create peace as a vehicle to create our communities the way they ought to be, to create ourselves the way we ought to be, and to create the world the way it ought to be.
She closed by imploring everyone to take action in their lives to create peace now, saying,
When you leave here today you will want to wait until tomorrow , but tomorrow may never come. What do we have? We have now. Now is here. Hopefully tomorrow will come but take action now to create a tomorrow of great possibilities. We can create a new history right now. Now is what we have. Together we will create a future by the actions we choose to make and by the actions we choose not to make in the now that you are present in.
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