THOMASVILLE — From a 7 a.m. start at the Thomasville Fire and Rescue headquarters for a run to the Jackets’ Nest to dozens of children and adults simulating the steps firefighters climbed at the World Trade Center, the community honored the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Thomasville High School also held a ceremony at the start of school, with the lowering of the flag to half-staff and the playing of “Taps.”

Thomasville Police Chief Troy Rich called the day “a sad day, but it is also a day of recognition for all the heroes who came to save other people’s lives 18 years ago.”

Chief Rich also urged the students and faculty to thank public safety personnel when they see them.

“Also thank our military veterans, because after that day, it changed our country,” he said.

The chief said police officers should be considered as friends and not as threats.

“He is not here to harm you,” he said.

Rich said police officers, firefighters and EMTs went to work that day in New York with no idea what they were about to face.

“Police officers and firefighters come to work every day to protect the lives and property of our community,” he said. “I can assure you that being a police officer for 29 years, I got up every day, put on a ballistic vest, put on my gun belt, to serve my community. And that’s what my police officers do every day and they go into the unknown. That’s what they did on 9/11. They had no idea what they were going to encounter.”

Editor Pat Donahue can be reached at (229) 226-2400 ext. 1806.

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