Disappointed in 9/11 turnout

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Last evening, my wife and I attended the 9/11 celebration performance by the legendary Lee Greenwood, who was preceded by the combined singing choruses from McIntosh and Starr’s Mill high schools.

As expected, the teenage choruses from our two local PTC high schools were truly sensational. It was heart-warming for us septuagenarians (and a 20-year U.S. Army veteran couple) to experience the talent, sincerity and patriotism of the next generation of America’s “Torch Bearers.”

What wasn’t pleasing was to see that two-thirds of the 2,000 seats at the The Fred were empty, especially, on the 15th anniversary of the worst tragedy ever experienced in our beloved country.

Lee Greenwood (who both wrote and recorded the most patriotic song since this horrific event happened exactly 15 years ago, “I am proud to be an American”) could have been anywhere in the USA for the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

The previous evening, he performed at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in front of an all-time record crowd of 150,000 spectators. While we did not expect a standing room only crowd for his live performance here in PTC, we did anticipate that the venue would be full, especially, since the tickets for this event were on sale for half price or a two for one purchase. In reality, if you discount the number of parents of the two high school choruses, the attendance was even more disappointing.

While we applaud the officials at The Fred for pulling off a coup of sorts, and scheduling such a perfect patriotic event with two of PTC’s high school choruses, the most legendary and patriotic performer of our lifetime as its headliner, and the opening remarks by the CEO of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, who played “Taps” on his own trumpet, we were extremely disappointed with the lack of support from our local community.

What an ideal time it would have been for parents and grandparents to explain the significance and heroism that was displayed as a result of this catastrophic event to their children and grandchildren. We all need to remember that freedom is not free.

Pete Fritts
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired)
Peachtree City, Ga.