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Funeral home remembers 9/11victims, heroes

by Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

On Friday, a local funeral home commemorated the eighth anniversary of a well-known tragedy.

According to Lynn Cline, the administrator at Haisten Funeral Home in McDonough, in an effort to remember the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, employees at the facility chose to honor the service that city and county public-safety and emergency personnel provide day in and day out.

Employees at the funeral home began the day at 6 a.m., by placing 297 American flags on the front lawn, said Cline. The number 297 was chosen, she said, "in remembrance of the 2,977 individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice on Sept. 11, 2001.

"It was a horrible thing that happened on 9/11," Cline said. "We are honoring our heroes. We wanted to show them as much respect as we could."

The City of McDonough parked an antique fire truck and a police car outside the facility, Cline added, as part of the salute.

Additionally, said Haisten Manager Betty Purcell, employees baked cookies for area public service personnel. The gesture is an important post-script to 9/11, she said.

"It is something we should never forget," Purcell said. "We're memorializing those who died, but we're also honoring our local police, fire, 911 operators, and EMTs for their hard work and dedication every day."