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Town turns out to honor heroes

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, will never be forgotten in Hobart after the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum opened its newest exhibit "9/11: Never Forget" to the public Sunday.

The Kiowa County community  always a stalwart of patriotism and national pride  commemorated the 15th anniversary of the most deadly terror attack on U.S. soil with an afternoon of celebration and remembrance capped off with a ribbon-cutting to open the new exhibit. Members of First Baptist Church in Hobart cooked hamburgers and hot dogs for more than 1,000 people who gathered on the Kiowa County Courthouse square. The Stars and Stripes flapped in the cool breeze as sunny skies and comfortable temperatures afforded a comfortable setting for a late fall community get together.

As visitors finished eating, they moved to the nearby Stanley Building where dignitaries and survivors gathered for a two-hour remembrance ceremony. Television personality Kevin Ogle moderated the service, during which dignitaries and survivors shared their stories of Sept. 11, 2001.

"When you saw those planes fly into those buildings, it left no doubt there is evil in this world," he said.

General Tommy Franks, who served as the commander of the nation's military response in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq, told those in attendance the story of how he first learned the U.S. was attacked by terrorists while in transit to Pakistan to discuss options for hunting down suspected terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Franks was on layover in Greece, waiting for his plane to be refueled, when he saw the news on a hotel television.

The Lawton Constitution

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