DOT sends red, white, blue to the heavens

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Features Editor

Sep. 25, 2001 10 PM

The Alabama Department of Transportation Seventh Division in Troy participated in a nationwide event in memory of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on America September 11, their families, friends and coworkers.

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At 3 p.m. central time Tuesday, 150 employees of the highway department released more than 300 red, white and blue helium-filled balloons to the heavens.

"We joined people all across America who released balloons at the same time so that they might touch the heavens to honor those who lost their lives," said Louise Sanders who helped coordinate the tribute. "We received an e-mail from our central office of the Alabama Department of Transportation in Montgomery about the balloon release and we decided this was something we wanted to do."

Shortly before 3 p.m. the employees gathered on the front lawn of the main office where Ronnie Baldwin spoke to them briefly before they released the balloons.

"On Sept. 11, a terrorist organization attempted to take away our freedoms," Baldwin said. "We will not let that happen."

He reminded his coworkers that there have been dark times in this country before and that the American spirit has always prevailed.

"This tragedy could be a wake up call for us," he said. "We must turn to God and we must not be overcome with fear. If we let fear consume our lives, then the terrorists will have won. We must be strong and we must continue our way of live – as free people who are confident in our future."

Baldwin asked all of those present to continue to pray for the families of the victims of the attacks on Sept. 11, those involved in the recovery and cleanup efforts and the United States of America."