ROSWELL, Ga. — The public is invited to join the City of Roswell and the Roswell Rotary Club as they honor the fallen this Sept. 11, starting at 8:30 a.m., at Roswell Area Park. This year marks the 18th anniversary since the attack.
“Every Sept. 11, we as Americans pay tribute to those who lost their lives that fateful day,” said Dwayne Kell, Roswell Rotary 9-11 committee chair. “We gather in unity and dignity to honor the freedoms that we have fought for in the past, the freedoms our loved ones have died for, and those freedoms that we continue to fight for today.”
The annual ceremony will be held at the Mike Gann 9-11 Memorial beside the park’s lake. The memorial is in honor of Claude Michael Gann, a Roswell resident who lost his life during the Sept. 11 attacks.
Gann was a salesman for the software company Algorithmics and was attending the Risk Waters Conference at Windows on the World on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center when the first plane struck, Kell said.
His body was never recovered.
This year’s 9-11 ceremony will feature Col. Mark D. Gelhardt as the keynote speaker. A combat veteran of the First Gulf War, Gelhardt is a retired army officer with 22 years of active commissioned service. He was selected to be the Commander of the Data System Unit of the White House Communications Agency during the Clinton administration.
Gelhardt’s military honors include the Presidential Service Badge, Airborne and Air Assault Badges, the Legion of Merit and the Soldiers Medal.
He has since published a book, “My Time at the Clinton White House,” and continues to work as a volunteer firefighter, Civilian Emergency Responder Team trainer and member of the Volunteer Georgia State Defense Force.
During the ceremony, Mayor Lori Henry will speak on behalf of the city, and wreaths will be laid in honor of the fallen civilians and officers.
“[Sept. 11] is an important day that we remember and our children need to be taught about so that it will continue to be remembered,” Kell said. “We have an obligation to never forget, but always remember the many heroes who saved our county.”