Owensboro’s 19th annual Freedom Walk will be held Friday, but there won’t be an actual walk this year. Instead, a small group will gather at the Charles E. Shelton Memorial to honor the thousands of lives lost during the 2001 World Trade Center attack.
The event was scaled down to keep it safer for those holding and attending the event. City Commissioner Pam Smith-Wright, who has held the Freedom Walk each year since 2002, said it was important to her that the 2,997 lives lost 19 years ago as a direct result of the attack were commended.
For many years, those who participated in the event walked from the Owensboro Sportscenter to the Shelton Memorial. Last year, Smith-Wright changed it up a bit to accommodate those who walk every year but had become older in age. The walk was shortened to end at Owensboro Fire Department Station Number 1 on West Ninth Street.
Though there won’t be a walk this year, the event will still be focused on honoring the victims whose lives were taken.
“People are just going to gather together and socially distance,” she said. “We will hold a small ceremony to commemorate 9/11.”
This year’s guest speaker will be Lou Drawdy, a Marine veteran and a member of the Owensboro-Daviess County Veterans Organization.
“They always say, ‘Once a Marine, always a Marine,’” Smith-Wright said of Drawdy’s strong military ties.
Bill Parrish, Owensboro’s former city manager and a retired Marine himself, will give the invocation.