We Remember

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, September 13, 2016

WOODLAND – WoodmenLife (formerly Woodmen of the World) Chapter 862 of Murfreesboro honored the fallen heroes of 9/11/01 at the Woodland Volunteer Fire Department on Sunday.

WoodmenLife presented the firefighters with a new flagpole and flag as part of its “In Honor & Remembrance” ceremony in support of first responders.

Rebecca Godwin, secretary of WoodmenLife Chapter 862, presents Woodland Fire Chief Greg Canady with the new flag.

Rebecca Godwin, secretary of WoodmenLife Chapter 862, presents Woodland Fire Chief Greg Canady with the new flag.

“The ceremony, called In Honor and Remembrance, WoodmenLife Salutes America’s Heroes,” said WoodmenLife Chapter 862 President JoAnn Nelson, “also included a salute to the heroes in our own community – the police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, members of the armed forces, veterans and others – who help ensure our safety each and every day.”

This is the 15th year that WoodmenLife has sponsored the In Honor and Remembrance project. Since the terrorist attacks of 2001, thousands of ceremonies have been conducted by WoodmenLife chapters nationwide. Many of the ceremonies, held at town halls, police and fire stations, schools and other community buildings, include the dedication of flagpoles and commemorative plaques, and the presentation of U.S. flags.

At the ceremony held in Woodland, local firefighters, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and military veterans were called to stand and receive honors.

Then, after pointing out the Woodland Fire Department’s new flagpole, prominently displayed by the fire truck bay, Rebecca Godwin, secretary of WoodmenLife Chapter 862, presented Greg Canady, chief of the Woodland Fire Department with the new flag for the pole.

The flag was raised, brought to half-staff, and the audience of about 50 people paid homage to it with a rendition of the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.

They then had a moment of silence for the heroes and victims of the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

The sister singing group Eyes of Emiline sang a beautiful rendition of “God Bless America,” which also inspired patriotism and love of country with right hands held firmly over hearts.

“Nearly 5,000 dedications to the September 11 fallen, in special ceremonies as this, have been held by Woodmen of the World,” said Nelson. “We can think of no more special way to honor these brave men and women than by the sight of the American flag flying proudly. Since 1947, we have presented more than two million American flags to community-based organizations across this nation.”

She also said Chapter 862 has presented 14 flagpoles to local first response departments since 9/11.

Nelson said that WoodmenLife was founded in 1890 and is a fraternal benefit organization offering insurance protection, financial security and fraternal benefits. Nearly 800,000 WoodmenLife members across the country share a commitment to family, community and country.

Woodland Mayor Kenneth Manuel expressed great appreciation for the WoodmenLife donations and for honoring the county’s first responders on such a special of remembrance.