GARLAND — Garland is observing the 14th anniversary of 9/11 by flying their flags at half-staff as directed by President Barack Obama.
The event at Rotary Park will begin with a prayer and a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., which is the time when a plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The moment will continue through 9:03 a.m. — the time when the South Tower was hit.
“This is a national and community day of reflection and remembrance of lives lost in the 9/11 tragedy,” Mayor Winifred Murphy stated in a news release. “We commit to a continued healing process, community unity, uplifting, and love.”
One of the victims, Tara Yvette Hobbs, had ties to the local communities. During the event, her life will be celebrated and observed during the event.
“We extend our love and deep feelings of loss with the Dixie and Dennis Hobbs Family of the Garland and Sampson County communities and other family members of all 9/11 victims,” Murphy stated.
Hobbs, from Central Islip, N.Y., was 31 years old and working as a claims representative/insurance broker on the 98th floor of the World Trade Center. She received education at Adelphi University, Pace University, Suffolk County Community College, and Long Island University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English literature.
Along with her parents, Tara is also being remembered by three sisters, Sherian Hobbs Lightfoot, Tammy Hobbs Ginsberg, and Sonya Hobbs Cuffee, and one brother, Reginald Hobbs. Each year, her parents participate in several parades in memory of her.
“We’re trying to keep the legacy of Tara alive,” Murphy said regarding the event, which began in 2012 with a proclamation.
In 2014, an event was held around the town hall’s flag pole. By having it at Rotary Park on Friday, Murphy believes the event will be more accessible for community members.
The Sept. 11 attacks killed close to 3,000 people after terrorist group al-Qaeda hijacked planes and crashed them in New York City, Washington D.C. and near Shanksville, Pa.
Murphy and town officials are asking community members to arrive at the park at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11.
Mural celebration set for Oct. 2
Garland’s Community Day is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3, with a variety of activities such as a parade, street dance and games. But before all the fun starts, a ceremony to dedicate a mural to the town will occur first.
Murphy said the event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, near the Sampson County Sheriff’s Annex, near Rotary Park.
“We’re hoping that the community of Sampson County comes to this event,” the mayor said.
Spearheaded by the town’s North Carolina Small Towns Economic Prosperity Program (NC STEP), the process began a couple years ago when the organization received money to improve the town and provide activities for its residents.
“I think it’s important for people and our citizens to understand the significance of the mural,” Murphy said. “At that time, we’ll explain what the mural is all about.”
The mural designed by artist Robert Hall features several aspects of Garland’s history such as medical pioneers Dr. Amos Johnson and his aide, Henry Lee “Buddy” Treadwell and the Brooks Brothers building. So far, some of invited guests include the Johnson and Treadwell families, and representatives from Brooks Brothers.
“We knew we wanted to do something to recognize our medical trailblazers as well as others in Garland,” Murphy said regarding the past, present and celebrating the future. “We just want everyone to have a sense of pride of where Garland’s been and where we’re going.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.