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Freedom Walk spurs patriotism
walk flag heroes
Volunteer firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, from left, Leonard Turner with Chase, James Tuten, Michael McIlrath, Joseph Martin, Nicholas Martin, Joe Canon, James Ashdown, Dennis Fitzgerald, Danny Pittman and Orrin Nester and, kneeling, Andrew Martin hold a Flag of Heroes that names the 411 emergency workers killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001 - photo by Photo by Lewis Levine
The commander of Fort Stewart and the Third Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, kicked off the Freedom Walk at Cottrell Field on Sunday.
The annual walk recalls the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and honors those who serve their country.
Cucolo said last year's observance was led by Col. Todd Buchs because the division and its then-commander, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, had been deployed to Iraq, in harm's way.
“I was in a different kind of dangerous place — in the Pentagon," said Cucolo, who was chief of Army public affairs.
After honoring the people who worked so hard that day and since, Cucolo told the crowd to recall where they were Sept. 11 and to remember the shock and disbelief they felt when news of the Twin Towers attack spread.
"Remember the rage and then the pride and defiance because of who we are — Americans."
Cucolo recalled his drive home from the Pentagon later that afternoon, "American flags appeared out of nowhere, they were everywhere. And people lined the streets holding lighted candles.”
Their message, Cucolo said, was, "If you choose to take us on, we will rise as one."
The general pointed out that the Sunday walk included "people who grew up in this magnificent place of coastal Georgia to people from as far away as American Samoa."
Liberty County Commission Chairman John McIver and Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas also spoke and then fire chiefs, police officers, first responders, citizens, soldiers, members of all the armed forces and regular folks began the memorial walk under the huge American flag suspended over the street.

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