Friday, 10 September 2021 12:56

Richmond County first responders ride to remember 9/11

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Emergency vehicles roll out of Falling Creek Plaza Friday morning in remembrance of 9/11. See more photos below. Emergency vehicles roll out of Falling Creek Plaza Friday morning in remembrance of 9/11. See more photos below. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — First responders rolled through Richmond County Friday morning to pay tribute to those who lost their lives nearly 20 years ago on 9/11.


Fire trucks and ambulances lined up in the Walmart parking lot, with the convoy rolling out just after 8:46 a.m. — the time that the first tower of the World Trade Center was hit in the fatal terrorist attack.

They made a short pause while en route around 9:03 a.m. in remembrance of the second strike.

After leaving Falling Creek Plaza, the trucks turned onto nearby Clemmer Road, took a right onto County Home Road then a left onto Wiregrass and a left on U.S. 1, bringing first responders to downtown Rockingham, where they turned onto U.S. 74 business to go back to Walmart.

This year’s participating agencies were: Rockingham Fire Department, Rockingham Police Department, Cordova Fire and Rescue, Ellerbe Fire Department, Ellerbe Rescue, Richmond County Rescue, Hamlet Fire Department, Mountain Creek Volunteer Fire Department, East Rockingham Fire Department, Northside Volunteer Fire Department and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

The march began in 2013, when four young men — Adrian Robson, Nathaniel Murphy, Josh Smith and Dalton Millen — decided to walk down U.S. 74 Business in the blazing heat dressed in turnout gear, carrying a U.S. flag.

The event grew the next year and the Rockingham Fire Department took over planning in 2015.

Last year’s event, like many others, was canceled because of COVID.

Traditionally, first responders — including fire and rescue and law enforcement personnel, both paid and volunteers — from across the county make the three-mile trek from the old courthouse in downtown Rockingham to Walmart.