Tears were shed by many this morning at the annual 9/11 commemoration at Liberty Garden in Bossier City.

During the ceremony, Mayor Lo Walker officially dedicated a steel beam from one of the World Trade Center towers, which is now on permanent display between the Bossier fire and police departments.

The tears really began flowing (mine especially) when Air Force General Robin Rand, Commander of Global Strike Command at Barksdale, told the story of one of the true heroes of September 11, 2001 -- Welles Crowther.

"Welles was a 24-year-old equities trader who was working on the 104th floor of the South Tower when the attack occurred. After the first plane hit the North Tower, being a thoughtful son, Welles called his mom to let her know that he was OK. Welles was far from being done that day, but that was the last time his mother would ever hear from her son.

For months, Welles' mom agonized over what had happened to her son during that final hour. In the following months, when the survivors' stories began to emerge, the heroics of her son's final hour came to light.

When the stories emerged of a guardian angel, covering his mouth with a red bandanna, taking control of directing people in the smoke-filled floor of the South Tower to the stairwells, Welles' mom knew in her heart that the guardian angel with the red bandanna was her son."

Through tears, Gen. Rand went on to say that freedom is not free.

"It's paid through the sacrifices of brave men and women who serve. Those are the people we should call heroes. It's not just the military. It's our public servants...our law enforcement, our firefighters, our first responders and citizens who support this great nation. With all its flaws, this nation is worth fighting for. Do you not agree?"

The event also featured lovely performances by Pastor Bruce Ewing, who sang the National Anthem, and James Benjamin with the Parkway High School Band, who played 'Taps' on his trumpet.

Take a look at photos from the event: