September 12--  The 911 Memorial Observance conducted in Vidalia Wednesday has a personal meaning for a Cedar Crossing woman.

When Barbara Johnson first heard the news about the Twin Towers 12 years ago, she immediately knew her brother, a New York City fireman, would answer the call.

{mosimage}Mrs. Johnson and her sister laid a wreath at the Meadows Street Park flagpole in honor of Kevin Delano, Sr., who died five years ago from complications of working at Ground Zero.

"He worked for 24 hours straight that day.  He lost a very close friend whose body was recovered the next day.  For weeks afterwards he worked on that pile everyday looking for survivors and bodies.  

"He had to attend a lot of funerals.  He had been a firefighter for 17 years and he had made a lot of friends in the fire department.  Each one was worse and worse. 

"Eventually he had to retire because he developed asthma and noesbleeds and stuff life that.  He wasn't the only one.  There were a lot of firefighters who died after 911 and are still dying," she said.

The memorial service in Vidalia is conducted by local Girl Scouts in conjunction with the Downtown Vidalia Association.

Mrs. Johnson says such memorial are important.

"Although we are a peaceful people, there are people in this world who are evil who want to destroy us.  If we don't keep it in the minds of people that there are evil people out there wanting to hurt us, then we'll forget about it and they'll have the advantage.

"I have a son who serves in the U.S. Army who's been to Iraq and Afghanistan.  I have nephew who's retired from the Navy and a brother-in-law who's retired from the Army.  These young people go and serve our country to keep us safe.  If we don't do something as simple as a memorial service, then what are our children going to remember," she observed.