Geneva holds special 9/11 ceremony

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GENEVA, Ala. (WTVY) -- On September 11th communities all over the nation hold tributes to those who died 18 years ago.

Tuesday was the second annual 9/11 ceremony at Robert A. Fowler Memorial Park. In memory of what happened 18 years ago in New York and how one of their own, never came home.

According to the organizers, "One of the partners here, Carl Hammond, his son Max is presumed dead. its a nightmare that you couldn't even begin to conjure up even in your sleep."

37 year old, Carl Max Hammond Jr. of Geneva was on United Flight 175 when it crashed into tower two of the World Trade Center. And at 9:03 a.m., the time that the crash happened, there was a moment of silence to honor him and the others who died.

"This makes a special day for the city of Geneva and were going to do this every year. When I went to the funeral of this young kid I promised the family at that time he would never be forgotten in Geneva, Alabama," said Geneva mayor Frankie Lindsey.

A permanent memorial has been set up at the park. Hammond's uncle takes care of it, so everyone remembers.

And it showed....dozens of people throughout the community came out to support one another.

"And knowing what happened to him, Geneva is a Mayberry kind of town and we don't want to lose any of our people, we embrace everybody," event planner, Miriam Spikes said.

But even those who weren't born in 2001, know about this tragedy. And it meant even more to them to be able to experience a ceremony and hear from people who lived through it.

"You see the videos and hear the stories but it doesn't really mean anything to you personally. But when you come out and you see these people who were personally affected by it, crying and knowing that was their nephew or son in that plane, it's just heartbreaking," Geneva High School student, Taylor Bedsole said.

And the mayor vows that this ceremony will forever live on.

"I want the family here to know that as long as I'm the mayor were going to have this annual thing and when I'm gone, I'm going to encourage the next mayor to make sure this thing happens," Mayor Lindsey said.

Mayor Lindsey tells WTVY that he expects the tribute will get larger every year and he anticipates that Fort Rucker will be there next year to help with the event.

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