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AN AMERICAN HERO Altha’s Lamar Conner honored with Germany’s highest civilian award

Lamar Conner, a 1976 graduate of Altha High School, captured the world’s attention last week when he was one of two Americans honored with Germany’s highest civilian award. Conner, a true American hero, helped capture a terrorist suspect accused of carrying out the first Islamic extremist act in Germany. Sources report Conner, who serves as a civilian airport employee in Frankfurt, chased Arid Uka, 21, after he allegedly attacked a U.S. airbus last March. Two airmen were killed in the attack. Conner, along with U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Trevor Brewer, pursued Uka until police apprehended him. Both Conner and Brewer were honored last Monday with the Federal Cross of Merit. Making the presentation was Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedric. Joining him at the ceremony was U.S. Ambassador Philip Murphy. Conner, 53, is a former sergeant in the U.S. Army. Following his retirement, he elected to remain in Germany where he serves as a ticket agent at the airport. He was reportedly on a break, heard the gunfire and took off after the suspect when he stepped off the bus with the gun. “I’m ex-military and you just react; you don’t have time to think,” he told the press at the awards ceremony. Brewer, a native of Tennessee, was nearly killed during the incident. Sources say he was waiting on a bus to go to Ramstein Air Base when Uka attacked. After killing two airmen, Uka allegedly pointed his pistol at Brewer’s head, stating, “Allahu Akbar,” which is Arabic for, “God is great.” Uka then pulled the trigger but, miraculously, the gun jammed. Uka ran, with Brewer and Conner chasing after him.

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