AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) –Fittingly, Augusta’s 9-1-1 center is where then Mayor Bob Young watched as the world changed on 9-11.
“Leave and go to the 9-1-1- center for the annual 9-1-1- ceremony and went into the EOC when I was there and watched the first tower come down,” said the former mayor now 20 years later.
But Augusta didn’t just sit back and watch, it acted.
Firefighters first began raising money, then the city went to work creating the Care and Prayer Crusade after Young had a conversation with friend Boone Knox.
“And we talked about what to do, he said Bob we got to do something, let’s raise some money for the people up there,” said Young.
And raise money we did. The extremely optimistic goal was reached in less than ten days.
“It was a little over a million dollars, just a little over a million,” said Young.
Just 16 days after 9-11 a delegation from Augusta headed to New York. Commissioner Marion Williams was on the trip that included a stop at ground zero.
“It was so devastating. Even today, man it still affects me to see that,” said Williams.
Williams has a kept piece of the rubble collected from that visit.
“I will always keep this. I want my children, my grandchildren my great grandchildren to understand how significant this piece is,” he said.
The delegation went on to present a million dollar check for the victims of 9-11- to, American’s Mayor Rudy Guiliani.
He thanked area residents singling out firefighters.
“Raised it in all different ways, including firefighters going out just going out on the street raising money from people,” said Guiliani.
“He told me our contribution really was the first to New York City, to help with those funds up there,” said Young.
One of the worst moments in our nation’s history found Augusta at its best.
“When there’s a tragedy around here of any means this community just comes together regardless of who you are or what your beliefs are,” said Young.
“This ought to be a reminder how we need to come together and be unified as the United States of America,” said former commissioner Williams.
America came together after 9-11 with our area leading the charge.
Mayor Young says of all the money only one check came back and it was for $25.