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'Living honorarium' among 9/11 events

DULUTH -- Most statues and other pieces of public art honoring public servants commemorate those that have died, those that have given their lives in the line of duty -- and rightfully so.

Way back in 2005, however, then-Duluth Mayor Shirely Lasseter sought to give her city a way to celebrate the living heroes, the still-breathing policemen, firemen and veterans in their community. On Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, it will be unveiled.

"We have always been a patriotic community," said Lasseter, now a Gwinnett County commissioner. "On Memorial Day and Veterans Day we proudly line our streets with thousands of American flags, honoring our deceased veterans.

"Now we want to show our gratitude and put our hands together in applause for those that can hear it."

Finding private funding, Lasseter quickly formulated the idea of a "living honorarium" in Duluth's town green. A competition with local artists was held to create the winning design. A committee formed from the Duluth fine Arts League, city council, art community and others ultimately recommended the concept Martin Dawe, giving him the project and a $50,000 commission.

Kept a secret since production, the honorarium will be unveiled in a public ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Active and veteran military personnel, police officers, firefighters, sheriff's deputies and band will join in the patriotic celebration in the town green, located at 3142 Hill St.

The event marks just one of several events commemorating 9/11 around Gwinnett this week:

The city of Suwanee will hold a candlelight ceremony at 7 p.m. Saturday, during which a 1,638-pound World Trade Center artifact will be unveiled at Town Center Park.

Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation will host a day of service and recycling from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Volunteers will paint a mural and install landscaping at Rhodes Jordan Park in Lawrenceville, and residents are also encouraged to bring electronics, tires and paper for recycling. For more information, visit www.gwinnettparks.com.

Operation One Voice will hold a service honoring fallen and wounded special operations soldiers at 9 a.m. Sunday. Around 20 wounded warrior families are scheduled to attend the event at Lake Lanier Islands Resort's Peachtree Point.

The Winder Fire Department will host "timeline" memorial services at 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday, at Winder Station No. 1, 96 North Broad St.