FORT STEWART and HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. -- More than 1,000 Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Soldiers and Family Members, along with community leaders joined first responders to commemorate the events of Sept. 11, 2001 with a Freedom Walk, Sept. 10 and Sept. 11.

Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, 3rd Infantry commanding general, began Stewart's ceremony with opening remarks that asked everyone to recall what they were doing on the morning of 9/11 eight years ago.

Although the attacks of 9/11 caught most Americans off-guard and shocked many in this nation of diverse people with differing political and religious beliefs, he pointed out that Americans always "rise up as one" when attacked. He then welcomed the many first responders there to participate in Freedom Walk - emergency medical personnel, and fire department and law enforcement personnel.

"It's an honor to serve with our first responders," Maj. Gen. Cucolo said, comparing the risks and the sacrifice they make to the risks and sacrifices made by Soldiers. "We are in this together."

Following remarks by Maj. Gen. Cucolo, John McIver, chairman of the Liberty County Board of Commissioners, and Charles Frasier, Hinesville Mayor Pro Temore, offered a few remarks. Chairman McIver noted Liberty County's continued support for Soldiers soon to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan and said the county continues to pray for Soldiers' Families. Mayor Pro Tem Frasier reminded those attending to always remember the tragic events of 9/11, noting that if we do not remember such a horrible event, it may happen again.

Family Members, veterans and civilians kicked off Hunter's 2009 Freedom Walk at the Hunter Club at 6 p.m., Sept. 11. Also on hand were Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department law enforcement officers, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield emergency service and law enforcement officers and other first responders who risk their lives daily to help others. A private citizen even donated 30 doves as a symbol of freedom.