Bamberg County remembers

As in other communities both large and small across the country, the County of Bamberg took time Sunday evening, September 11, 2011 to observe the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville Pennsylvania.

At 6:00 p.m. a parade consisting of 15 fire trucks representing all nine fire departments in Bamberg County, along with departments from Barnwell and Orangeburg Counties, and law enforcement agencies from throughout the county made their way to the Bamberg County Courthouse, where they were greeted by citizens lining the sidewalks waving the American flag.

On the steps of the Bamberg County Courthouse a large number of citizens seated in folding chairs and standing on the lawn listened as Bamberg County Councilmember Larry Haynes, who lived in New York at the time of the attacks, vividly recalled the events of that fateful day.

Haynes said he remembers saying “that building is going to fall” as he watched people “dropping out” of the windows of the World Trade Center towers. Haynes noted that it was “something devastating” to see those two magnificent fall. “I can see those people,” he said. Haynes noted that out of all the devastation came one good thing. “It was a day that New York came together,” he said.

The program started with the welcome by Bamberg County Councilmember Alzena Robinson followed by the pledge of allegiance to the flag by City of Bamberg fire chief Timmie Taylor. Bamberg Mayor Alton McCollum led those in attendance in prayer. Bamberg County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Norris Williams in recognizing law enforcement officers said law enforcement officers are “a special breed.” Thank you for supporting us in law enforcement.”

Bamberg County Emergency Preparedness Director Sharon Hammond in addressing the gathering noted that the 10th anniversary of 9- 11 is “a time to remember and prepare,” adding that September is preparedness month. Hammond noted that even though Bamberg County does not have everything it needs, the “county is prepared.” She recalled the 375 firefighters that lost their lives on 9-11 and the over 2,000 first responders that were injured in the event. On a personal note, Hammond, who lived in New York before coming back to South Carolina said her sister survived two attacks on the World Trade Center. “Now is the time to get prepared because anything can happen,” she said.

In recognizing the large number of volunteer firefighters in attendance at the event, Bamberg County Fire Coordinator Brenna Hancock, who help coordinate the event and was the mistress of ceremony, noted “volunteer firefighters have a special place in my heart.” Hancock thanked all the departments “for serving the county.” The Benediction was given by Bamberg County Councilmember the Rev. Isaiah Odom.

Fire Departments participating in the program were: Bamberg, Colston, Denmark, Clear Pond, Govan, Hunters Chapel, Little Swamp, Olar and Ehrhardt. And from Orangeburg County: Canaan Fire Department and from Barnwell County the Elko Fire Department. Law enforcement agencies in attendance were as follows: The Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office, Bamberg Police Department and the Ehrhardt Police Department. The Bamberg Rescue Squad and Bamberg County C.E.R.T. team members also participated.