Third Infantry Division Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse Andrews shakes hands with Army veteran William B. Colson Jr. at the 8th annual Patriot Day Service of Remembrance at Evans County Courthouse in Claxton, Ga., Sept. 11.

<B> FORT STEWART, Ga. </B> - On Sept.11, 2001, our nation's capital and our nation's largest city were attacked. Another attack was thwarted by passengers of an airplane that crashed in western Pennsylvania.

While the acts were in the centers of America's power or intended to attack it's centers of power, their devastation was felt all over America, including Claxton, Ga., the fruitcake capital of the world. The town chose to honor the victims of the attacks and the servicemembers who have been sent overseas to capture those responsible.

The town held its 8th annual Patriot Day Service of Rememberance, Sept. 11 at Evans County Courthouse in Claxton, Ga.

The event was sponsored by the Claxton Chamber of Commerce. Command Sergeant Major Jesse Andrews, command sergeant major of the 3rd Infantry Division, was the guest speaker at the event.

"It is my honor and my pleasure to be part of your patriotic observance here today. We should never forget the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001," he said. "The deadly attacks took the lives of 3,000 innocent people for no other reason than the fact they were Americans, like you and me.

He continued by talking about the Army's presence during the day.

"September 11, 2001 was a defining moment for the United States and the United States Army," he added. "The Army's 9/11 victims at the Pentagon, our nation's first responders at the world trade center and our first responders out in the field in Pennsylvania, rapidly responded to their call of duty. On that day, many made the ultimate sacrifice, performing their duties as public servants of our nation."

Command Sergeant Major Andrews is from Lincolnton County, which is close to Claxton. He spoke of his roots and the impact it had on his life.

"I would not be able to stand before you today as Command Sgt. Maj. of the 3rd Infantry Division, the best combat maneuver division in the Army's inventory, without the small town upbringing that I had coming up in Lincolnton. Lincolnton is like Claxton with one exception - we don't have the fruitcake."

Gayle Durrence, the city administrator for Claxton ,spoke of her appreciation for Command Sgt. Major Andrews and the Soldiers who serve.

"It was a great event," Gayel said. "It related to us. I'm sure we have people in the audience who have Family Members serving, and I'm sure they liked hearing him speak."

American Legion members, as well as residents of Claxton and residents of Evans ounty were at the event.

William B. Colson Jr., a 20-year Army veteran and member of the American Legion, was at the event. He appreciated the event and Command Sgt. Maj.Andrew's speech.

"It was outstanding, I was very proud of him," he said. "It spoke from the heart; it spoke the truth; and it spoke to people that feel it, believe it and understand it."

While Colson was touched by Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew's speech, he was and continues to be touched by those who serve.

"I thank each and every one of you for what you're doing for our country," he said. "I give you a big two thumbs up. Keep marching."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16