Our Voice The Times - Journal

Immortalized recently by the Country Music Hall of Fame, supergroup Alabama now stands forever in its hometown.

In one of the most unique and touching ceremonies in recent years in Fort Payne, Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, Jeff Cook and Mark Herndon all spoke and were all touched when four bronze statues were unveiled at Fort Payne City Park.

The honor, which was long overdue for the group that helped make Fort Payne famous and still calls Lookout Mountain home, brought together public officials, DeKalb County citizens and people from around the country. More than 1,500 attended the event.

We want to thank Fort Payne Mayor Bill Jordan, Fort Payne City Council President Johnny Eberthart and Fort Payne councilmen Walter Watson, Richard Pridmore and Andrew Hairston for conceiving the plan and pushing it forward. Certainly, it’s not easy task to develop such a tribute, and the council overcome obstacle after obstacle with steady progress.

The statues and display serve as a wonderful centerpiece for the newly remodeled City Park, which has added so much beauty and so much more pride to our city. But, there are others who deserve great credit for Saturday’s wonderful ceremony. The Fort Payne Parks and Recreation Department, headed by Greg Conkle, did another outstanding job. From helping to get everything prepared for the event to serving hundreds of hot dogs and soft drinks in the park after the dedication, the department showed the best of what government can do.

Also, the Fort Payne Street Department, led by Stanley Byrd, have worked tirelessly during the renovations of the park and should be nothing but proud of their efforts. We certainly are.

The Fort Payne Police Department and many others were also on hand to keep things moving smoothly. Their efforts allowed those there to honor the boys in the band to leisurely enjoy the day and soak in the ceremony.

Saturday was another great day for the group Alabama, and an even better one for our city. It was a day well done.