Clinton remembers

City’s ceremony marks anniversary of terrorist attacks

  • This giant American flag draped from a city of Clinton fire ladder truck helped set the stage for Saturday morning’s ceremony on Market Street in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the 20th anniversary. - G. Chambers Williams III

  • Piper Will Bledsoe plays during Saturday morning’s Market Street ceremony honoring those who died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He played at times corresponding with each plane crash and tower collapse on 9/11. - G. Chambers Williams III

  • Members of the Clinton High School Junior ROTC Honor Guard present the colors during Saturday morning’s Market Street ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. - G. Chambers Williams III

Bagpipes playing on Market Street in downtown Clinton on Saturday morning helped the city commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, aided by the Clinton Fire Department and the Clinton High School Junior ROTC.

Several hundred people lined Market Street to view the morning’s events.

Piper Will Bledsoe from Jonesboro, Tennessee, performed at the specific times corresponding to each plane crash and World Trade Center tower collapse. He said after the event that he felt “honored” to be invited to participate as the replacement for another piper who was not able to attend because he had contracted COVID-19.

The Clinton Fire Department displayed a giant American flag from the top of its big ladder truck at the top of Market Street near Main Street. It was visible all the way from the other end of Market Street.

Jason Deel served as master of ceremonies from a spot on the sidewalk in front of the new Maude Brown City Park, and the Junior ROTC Honor Guard made a flag presentation to begin the 10 a.m. ceremony.

That was followed by a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Deel and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by Clinton resident Teresa Seals.

Next, the ceremony recognized first-responders who were present, mostly from the Clinton Fire and Police departments.

Organizer Katherine Birkbeck, program director for the Main Street/Historic Downtown Clinton organization at the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce, said she felt that the foggy morning on Saturday helped create a somber atmosphere for the ceremony.

For the recognition of local first-responders, the ROTC group held a sword-crossing event. The first-responders were recognized individually by name and years of service, with special awards to those who had served the longest.

“Larry Miller won a $500 donation to his station for 27 years of service with the Clinton Police Department,” Birkbeck said.

Bledsoe played his bagpipes beginning at 8:46 a.m. for Flight 11, followed at 9:03 a.m. for Flight 175 and 9:37 a.m. for Flight 77, then at 9:59 a.m. for the collapse of the South Tower, 10:03 a.m. for Flight 93, 10:15 a.m. for the Pentagon outer-ring collapse; and 10:28 a.m. for the North Tower collapse.

“I think it turned out to be a really special day, and I loved how many people turned out,” Birkbeck said.