The September Concert united people of all backgrounds at Callaway Auditorium Wednesday on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attack.
Margaret Ross, president of LIFE (LaGrange International Friendship Exchange) opened the ceremony with a dedication to the memory of Marjorie Champion Slamone, who lost her life at the Pentagon in Sept. 11, 2001, Sgt. Corey Spates who was killed in Iraq on February 10, 2008, and Stefan Smith who was recently killed in Afghanistan July 24, 2013. The ceremony was also in memory of Annette Boyd, Dr. Art Holbrook, and Doug Hardin, all founding members of LIFE and volunteer Ida Florine Tarver Jones.
After performances from the Freedom Sound, the Lynch/Lewis Family, New Heaven Korean Baptist Church, Sho’Nuff Dahlings and soloists Matt Whitten, Kevin Dunn, Suzana Pavlovic and Hanna Howard, all performers united at the closing of the ceremony to perform “Let There be Peace on Earth,” in which the audience sang along.
Lucia Atkins, a spectator in the audience, said the concert was great and all the singers were wonderful. She recalled that on Sept. 11, 12 years ago she was at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia after receiving a liver transplant.
“The building across the street from us was a courthouse that they had heard was going to be hit, so they had people guarding it there,” said Atkins. “We watched every minute of it on TV in the hospital room.”
Another spectator, said she was at her home in LaGrange watching the news when she learned about the attack.
“I thought I was watching a movie when I saw the first plane go through the building,” said Dean Turner. “It was awful. We stay glued to the TV every minute.”
September 11 will always hold a soft spot in the hearts of many.
“All those people that gave their lives and especially the firemen that went up there knowing that they would probably not get back down trying to save lives,” said Atkins. “It’s just a marvelous wonderful thing that they did. And our young soldiers that have been killed it’s something I will never forget.”