On the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Murray-Calloway County Hospital recognized heroes, veterans and victims at their flag dedication ceremony.
The ceremony was held at Spring Creek Health Care, a nursing and rehabilitation center affiliated with MCCH. The decision was made to dedicate the flag after Spring Creek’s former flag was damaged beyond repair by a series of bad storms.
Thirteen veterans, also residents, sat in the front row at the service while Melony Bray, director of marketing at MCCH, welcomed the audience. A moment of silence and prayer followed, led by the Rev. John Dale.
Calloway County judge-executive Larry Elkins, Mayor Bill Wells and Keith Travis, vice president of institutional development at MCCH, all shared their condolences. They all spoke of the horrors of the attacks, the bravery of the firefighters and police officers and of all the reasons Americans will never forget 9/11.
After the veterans were recognized for their service, Barry Newsome of Woodmen of the World, spoke about the men he considers to be heroes.
“These are the men in our lives that kept us safe,” Newsome said. “They deserve this honor. In 2001, we experienced horrors we never thought possible. It is to those who died and those who are our heroes that we dedicate this ceremony.”
Eric Stroupe, junior XXX, played “Taps” before the new flag was raised.
Keith Travis, Newsome and a 20-year Navy veteran and Spring Creek resident, Preston Jewell, raised the new flag together.
The chaplain at MCCH, Kerry Lambert, closed the ceremony after the raising of the flag. Travis and other volunteers carefully folded the old flag while residents and the public enjoyed refreshments.
Behind the refreshment table, a flag was hung in honor of the victims of the attacks. Every stripe in the flag was filled with names of those who died. According to New York Magazine, 2,753 civilians were killed in New York on Sept. 11. In the aftermath of the attacks, 343 firefighters and paramedics were killed, along with 23 New York Police Department officers.
Story by Lexy Gross, Staff writer.