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We remember

First Responder Memorial unveiled Sunday afternoon


In honor of those who see the public when they’re at their worst, the Jack County First Responders Memorial had its opening ceremony Sunday.

It was also the 21st anniversary of 9-11 where several hundred first responders perished in response to the World Trade Center bombing. Jack County Judge Keith Umphress said the memorial recognized those “with a servant’s heart.”

“You are the foundation of our community,” Umphress said. “You’ve answered the calls at the expense of yourselves and your family.”

The memorial was the vision of Christian Missions Pastor Eugene Weldon, who worked tirelessly and had a Jack County Veterans Memorial built a few years ago with the work of hundreds of groups and individuals. Weldon was presented with a ceremonial bell “for his vision and hard work.”

In honor of the county first responders who have perished in the line of duty, a bell was rung at the memorial along with the playing of Taps while more than 125 people showed their respect.

District 68 State Representative David Spiller said the 9-11 event brought attention to those who are always first on the scene in the wake of disaster.

“It showed how important first responders are to our nation, to our State and to our community,” Spiller noted.

The memorial will also serve as a constant reminder and thank you for the sacrifices first responders make, in the past and in the future.

Keynote Speaker Congressman Roger Williams (R-Texas) said the first responders that have given so much are getting back in the form of the memorial. Williams showed a bracelet he wears to remember those who lost their lives as a result of 9-11.

The memorial symbolizes how great the United States of America and the State of Texas are. Something Steve Lupo, who came from Midlothian and is a first responder down there noticed.

“It’s a job but it’s one I love,” Lupo said as he looked around the memorial. “I like the human aspect of it and it’s great what Jack County has done.”

The memorial is located at 250 S. Knox, west of the Veterans Memorial.

More than 100 people came out Sunday, Sept. 11 for the dedication ceremony of the new Jack County First Responder Memorial. The memorial was the vision of Pastor Eugene Weldon, who was awarded a ceremonial bell for his hard work from County Judge Keith Umphress (above). Right, the centerpiece of the memorial.

Photo/Brian Smith

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