By: Lanetra Bennett
September 11, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - Just as thousands came to the rescue during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, local officials are doing the same for those in need in our community. They're using the 12th anniversary of the attacks to encourage the community to serve others, and honor those volunteers who already do.
Military Veteran, Carl Duncan, was 58 years old when terrorists attacked America on September 11, 2001.
He says, "The first thing that crossed my feelings, being a veteran, was that if they needed me, I would go."
Leon County officials want everyone to have that same dedication when it comes to serving others in local communities.
On the 12th Anniversary of the attacks Wednesday, the county commemorated 9/11 as a Day of Remembrance and Service.
During the ceremony, Leon County paramedic, Mac Kemp, won the first ever Glenn Winuk Humanitarian Service Award. Kemp established Honor Flight Tallahassee that recently transported 79 veterans to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Kemp says, "It's great to come to work every single day and do things for people to try to help people out. That's the reason I think that everybody in EMS and fire and law enforcement does it."
After the ceremony, volunteers made care packages for active military soldiers. The packages, which are also filled with handwritten notes, will go to about 200 deployed soldiers.
In honor of the Day of Remembrance and Service, Leon County Volunteer Services rehabilitated seven homes of disabled veterans in need this past week.
Press Release: Leon County
Leon County Commemorates 9/11 as a Day of Remembrance and Service
Third Annual Event Calls for Renewed Commitment to Community
In recognition of September 11 as a momentous day of both tragedy and
triumph, Leon County Government hosted their third annual ceremony
marking the Day of Remembrance and Service, at The Florida State
University College of Law. More than 300 people gathered to remember
that historic day and what it has come to mean 12 years later.
The ceremony included remarks from Leon County Commission Chairman Nick
Maddox honoring first responders and service members. The renowned
Tallahassee Boys Choir gave a moving performance that brought the crowd
to their feet and tears to many.
“In these times of great challenge, our nation needs more individuals
who are willing to step forward and leave a positive legacy,” said
Chairman Maddox, as he addressed an overflowing rotunda. “Having a
heart for service is part of this legacy, and part of the very fabric of
who we are in Leon County. It is our hope that everyone here today will
discover exactly how valuable you can be to our community. It is through
the giving of your time and talents that you can help turn tragedy into
One example of service to the community happened this past week when
Leon County Volunteer Services, with the help of engaged community
partners and more than 75 volunteers, coordinated the rehabilitation of
seven different homes of disabled veterans in need. One of the flagship
projects was repairing the home of a Vietnam Veteran, who is also a
“Twelve years ago on this day, we were overwhelmed by a mix of grief
and disbelief. But through it all, there were also sparks of pride,
unity and determination that emerged,” said Leon County Administrator
Vincent S. Long. “The result is that we stand here united today
dedicated to doing good acts for others: for those who served, for those
who are serving and for those who are simply neighbors in need. Our
community stands ready to help.”
Additionally, former Governor Bob Martinez was on hand for the ceremony
to make the first-ever annual presentation of the Glenn J. Winuk
Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Holland & Knight.
Twelve nominees were recognized and Governor Martinez acknowledged the
contributions of each, including the following three finalists: Claude
Kenneson, who for nearly 25 years devoted his life to feeding the
homeless and preserving local history, earning the names: "Mr. Soup
Kitchen" and "Mr. Tallahassee History"; Leon County Emergency Medical
Services Deputy Chief Malcolm Kemp, who has served as an EMT for 33
years and also helped establish Honor Flight Tallahassee that recently
transported 79 veterans to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and
Max West, who has dedicated many years providing disaster relief, by
helping the elderly with errands, doctor visits, home repairs and by
serving in his faith community.
Ultimately, Deputy Chief Kemp was announced as the winner of the 2013
Glenn J. Winuk Humanitarian Award. Captain Sally Davis, who nominated
Kemp and has known him for more than 29 years, referred to him as the
kind of hero who rushes into emergencies when others are rushing out.
After Wednesday’s ceremony, citizen volunteers helped assemble
military care packages and wrote notes to 114 recently deployed
soldiers. Most of those care packages also included notes and artwork
from local school children.
“This Day of Remembrance and Service is a positive and
forward-looking way for Leon County to honor the victims and survivors
of 9/11,” according to Jeri Bush, Director of Leon County Volunteer
Services. “The housing service projects of this past week were
fantastic, the projects today are great – but we really want
volunteerism to become a year-round way of life.”
September 11 has now emerged as the single largest day of charitable
engagement. Last year, a record 35 million people observed the day by
engaging in service projects nationwide; up from 30 million in 2011.
Leon County and its community partners encourage residents and neighbors
to remember the service of others by making the commitment to
For more information about how to volunteer for service projects
throughout Leon County, log onto www.VolunteerLEON.org or contact Jeri
Bush, Director of Volunteer Services, at (850) 606-1970 work / (850)
228-5052 cell / BushJ@LeonCountyFL.gov or Jon D. Brown, Director of Leon
County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 work / (850)
694-1405 cell / cmr@LeonCountyFL.gov .
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To view photos from County events, head to www.LeonPhotos.org .