|9/11 Remembrance Ride|
September 11, 2011Con was deeply honored to be invited to sing our National Anthem at the World's Fair Park
as part of a
9/11 Memorial Ceremony
and Remembrance Ride held by the Knoxville chapters of
the Blue Knights
and Red Knights.
|More than a thousand riders and supporters turned out for the event remembering the victims and honoring the heroes of that tragic day.|
|Billy Kidd from 103.5 WIMZ emceed the event.|
|Detective Joe Henderson of the Knox County Sheriff's Office had several items on display that he collected while volunteering at Ground Zero.|
|The audience stands as |
members of the
present the Flags.
|Con gives |
an emotional performance
of our national anthem,
The Star Spangled Banner.
The audience was moved to tears, as was Con.
Cheers of love for our great country, and shouts of gratitude and admiration for those who serve,
rang throughout the amphitheater.
|Bagpiper Kelly Shipe gave a lovely and moving performance of |
|Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley rang a bell at 10:28 am, the exact moment the second tower fell on that fateful day.|
|Speakers for the event included, pictured clockwise from top center - Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley, Chief Clarence Nelson of the Blair Volunteer Fire Department, Trina Scott of C.O.P.S., Dean Williams of the Red Knights, and T.C. Hicks from Blue Knights International.|
|Deputy John Acker, left, and Deputy Rick H. Coley, right, both from the Anderson County Sheriff's Department called upon their K-9 partners Justus and Chase to demonstrate how K-9 Units have become a vital part of our security force.|
|Knox County Sheriff's Department Detective |
Joe Henderson, left, and Naval Officer and Fireman Jim Vickers recount their personal connections
|Randy Gracy is one of the event organizers, |
and had the pleasure
of introducing today's
special guest speaker, Brigadier General
Jefforey A. Smith.
In addition, Gracy tells the crowd that he and Smith also just happen to be brothers-in-law.
|Brigadier General Smith had just returned from Afghanistan. He has commanded multiple operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has earned several medals including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Bronze Star, and he has served in significant posts in the U.S. Department of Defense.
Today Brigadier General Smith talked of the challenges he and his fellow soldiers are faced with in their war on terror, and he spoke with pride of the strength and determination our brave soldiers show every day in protecting our great nation.
The crowd honored Smith with a rousing standing ovation for his service and dedication.
|The crowd was then led in a closing prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.|
|Members of the Knox County Sheriffs Department conduct a |
Twenty-One Gun Salute.
Officer Mike Freels played Taps as the Colors were retired and this portion of the event drew to a close.
|And with that the 2011 |
9-11 Remembrance Ride gets underway.
We will never forget.
God bless our flag....long may she wave!
And God Bless America!