CLINTON — Solemn tones rung out from the carillon high atop the First Presbyterian Church as a group of Clinton firefighters, police officers and city leaders gathered to remember those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Clinton Fire Chief Mark Regenwether welcomed those in attendance and said the ceremony was being held to honor the memory of the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the course of their duties. Mayor LaMetta Wynn asked the gathered crowd to pray for those affected by the tragedy and offered her gratitude to those who serve the Clinton community.

First Baptist Church Pastor and Clinton Police Department/Fire Department Chaplain Ron Lott said he remembers standing in a sergeant’s office at the police department when the second plane hit the World Trade Center and the moment he knew it wasn’t an accident. He related what he felt as he watched the emergency responders rushing into the towers, as everyone else was rushing out. Lott said it was a privilege to participate in a remembrance for those who lost their lives.

“I’m honored to have a chance to be a part of this and to honor them,” he said.

Lott added he is proud to be affiliated with the first responders of the Clinton community. Lott then led the group in prayer.

CFD Color Guard member and Firefighter David James tolled a ceremonial bell to honor the fallen heroes. Regenwether said the ringing of the bell, three rings — three times, dates back to when fire departments utilized alarm boxes to tone out emergencies. He said three rings in three cycles represents the end of the emergency and the return to quarters.

The bell ceremony is a tradition of the fire service which reflects respect and honor to those who gave their lives to their duty. The tolling of the bell was followed by a lengthy moment of silence.

After the ceremony, Wynn said she thinks Sept. 11 has made people more aware of what can happen and remarked that Clinton police, fire and rescue crews are well-prepared to complete their duties when needed.

“I’m proud of our first responders. We’re so thankful for our people that serve and protect this community,” she said.

“I think we know that they are there for us and I think we need to say thank you more often.”

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