memorial

This September 11th marks the 20 years that have passed since the terrorist attack in New York City. Here, an American flag provides the foreground for a picture of the city.

THOMASVILLE — Two decades after the Twin Towers were destroyed, communities across America remembered the fallen for the 20th anniversary of the most devastating terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

In Thomasville, city and county officials gathered at Sechrest-Davis Funerals and Cremations at 18 Randolph St. for a memorial that featured a number of speakers and relics from Sept. 11, 2001. The memorial service began at 8:30 a.m. and included musical performances by a chorus of Thomasville children, a flag retirement, pieces of the rubble from the attack and more. There were moments of silence at 8:46 and 9:02 this morning.

The event took place in the front parking lot of Sechrest-Davis Funerals and Cremations, located between Thomasville Public Library and the courthouse.

“We want to remember the ones who were lost that day and also honor our firefighters and police,” said Jimmy Stepp, funeral director at Sechrest-Davis. “We did a 15-year memorial out in the parking lot here at the funeral home. Earlier in the year, in just trying to look at different things we traditionally try to do throughout the community … I knew that we had done the 9/11 memorial before, I thought we just needed to do the 20-year.”

Stepp said Rep. Ted Budd, Davidson County Sheriff Richie Simmons, Davidson County commissioners, Thomasville City Council and several other elected officials were present. Mayor Raleigh York Jr. spoke, as well as Thomasville Fire Chief Eddie Bowling and a representative from the police department.

Thomasville City Manager Michael Brandt brought a flag that was once flown over the Pennsylvania site at which one of the planes went down that day.

Other individuals from businesses, government offices and institutions across Thomasville and Davidson County helped to stage this remembrance, as the region fails to forget the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Stepp gave special thanks to Thomasville Public Library, which he said had been in tremendous support for the project and helped to coordinate the event.

“We just tried to involve a number of people we normally see on a daily basis,” Stepp said. “In October, we always do a safetyfest with the fire department. That’s when they bring all the trucks and everything, fly the helicopter, and we do hot dogs. … We started looking at that and approached [library staff] who have been a big help in putting this together.”

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.