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Woodmen honor heroes of Sept. 11

MURFREESBORO – In a brief, but moving ceremony Sunday at the Jefcoat Museum, the Woodmen of the World organization honored the heroes and victims of Sept. 11, 2001 as well as “those who have lost their lives – and those currently serving – in the fight against terrorism,” said JoAnn Nelson, president of Woodmen of the World Lodge 862, Murfreesboro, as she explained the purpose of the ceremony and introduced honored guests.

“We also want to honor the brave men and women who safeguard our nation and our local communities every day,” said Nelson.

The ceremony was opened by Murfreesboro Mayor Lynn Johnson and by Colon Ballance, director of the Jefcoat Museum.

Nelson’s remarks were followed by the invocation by the Rev. Wint Hale Jr., retired minister and Woodmen member, and then by the playing of the National Anthem by Chris Jernigan on the trumpet.

A flag was presented to the museum by Rebecca Godwin, secretary of the local lodge. It was accepted by Ballance and then raised to the top of the museum flagpole and then lowered to half staff.

Following a moment of silence, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited and Jernigan played God Bless America.

The ceremony closed with the benediction by Rev. Hale.

Honored at the ceremony were representatives of the Murfreesboro Fire Department and Police Department as well as Emergency Medical Services Director Penny Davis.

Nelson said Woodmen of the World, since 1947, “has presented more than 1.8 million U.S. flags to schools, churches and other non-profit organizations.”

The organization also presents American Patriot Handbooks to schools and libraries and to newly naturalized citizens, as well as awards to students for proficiency in American History.