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Mississippians Remember 9/11 with Day of Service

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 11 Sep 2012 03:55pm | comments
Volunteers repaint the floor of a fire station.

Mississippians are using the anniversary of national tragedy to perform community service for emergency first responders. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the nine-eleven terrorist attacks are now commemorated as a national day of service.

An Americorps volunteer repaints the floor of the central fire station in Vicksburg.

The project is one of a number of community service projects that took place around the state of Mississippi to mark the eleventh anniversary of the September eleventh terrorist attacks.

Station captain Shane Miller says the paint was badly needed but thinks the work has symbolic meaning as well.

"A lot of this stuff really hit home for a lot of guys. Naturally, this happened up north in New York City but we are all fire fighters and we understand that we all have families and how it affects each one of us. Just what everybody has lost on this day. It is good to get the community together and come together as a nation around what has happened," Miller said.

Congress designated September eleventh as a national day of service in 2009.

An estimated 30-million people national wide participated last year.

While painting a corner of the fire station, volunteer Soraia Francisco hopes her service inspires others to step up.

"This went from a tragedy to people uniting and moving on and getting something good out of it. Instead of it just being a memorial type day it is a day of service. I think that is a good response to a terrorist attack. I think it is the best response we can have," Francisco said.

Across town more volunteers wash the cruisers of the Vicksburg police department.

Police Chief Walter Armstrong says first responders appreciate the help and acknowledgement that comes from the people volunteering.

"But you know what this day means to me? It reminds me of the importance of our freedom. It reminds me of the sacrifice that so many people have made so we can live in a safe environment," Armstrong said.

Two Mississippians were killed in the September eleventh attacks.

Joe Ferguson, a photographer who was onboard the plane that crashed into the pentagon and Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Don Dickerson Jr. who was at work in the same building.

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Volunteers repaint the floor of a fire station.


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