MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Patriot Guard riders escorted special guests to a 9-11 remembrance ceremony in Mobile.
“This is about remembering those people from Alabama that were killed,” said Eddie Irby, an organizer who represents Buffalo Soldiers, Mobile.
There were 9 victims with Alabama ties killed in the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. In our area, they included Army Sergeant Tamara Thurman of Brewton, Navy Technician Marsha Ratchford of Prichard, and Operations Specialist Nahamon Lyons of Mobile. All perished when one of the four hijacked jets hit the Pentagon.
Special guests Wednesday included World War II veterans, two of whom served as Buffalo Soldiers, a battalion made up on all African-Americans. Robert Andry served in armor.
“I was with the 761st tank battalion–the only black battalion that was in existence at that time,” he said.
Robert Serling served in the infantry in the Pacific.
“I put three years in Okinawa, Lehte, Guam and the Philippines,” he said.
They were joined by others at Oaklawn as the flag was raised with the National Anthem, and Taps was played in remembrance of the fallen.
Organizers hope that more events like this can be held at Oaklawn, a cemetery enjoying a revival of sorts, thanks to a number of volunteers.