“We will remember the first responders who ran toward the danger while everyone was running to safety.”
“We will remember the construction workers who spent months at the site in hazardous conditions doing work that most of us will never begin to understand.”
“We will remember the survivors whose experiences we cannot begin to comprehend.”
“We will remember all the lives lost in the most horrific attack on American soil — not just Americans, but also citizens from 78 other countries.”
“We will keep them and their families in our hearts.”
“We will remember that the entire world was affected by this.”
“We will remember the pride in our own country.”
“We will remember the world stopped that day.”
Justin Richard spoke those words during Kennesaw Mountain High School’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony last month. The senior and his fellow JROTC cadets helped their teachers, parents and classmates pause to reflect on that fateful day in September.
“This event is a humbling and respectful ceremony that allows those who lived that day to remember,” Principal Nathan Stark said. “It also helps our students, who were not even born when these events occurred, to show respect for all those who lost their lives on 9/11, for our first responders and for those who have served to protect and defend our country.”
Freshman JROTC cadet David-Nelson Tokognon thinks Americans should always remember the tragedy that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
“This 9/11 ceremony is about remembering the actions of people who risked their lives to save and to protect everyone in that building on that horrible day,” he said.
David-Nelson joined the Kennesaw Mountain JROTC program because he was looking for a purpose. Sophia Rosa’s father served in the U.S. Army; she joined JROTC to follow her sister’s lead and to find out what it’s like to be in the military.
David-Nelson and Sophia might have had different reasons for joining JROTC, but they agreed about the importance of the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony.
“The 9/11 ceremony was (about) honoring the heroes that saved lives that day and to remember the countless innocent people who died that day,” Sophia said.
With fire trucks as a backdrop, cadets raised the American flag, as the crowd stood silent and paused to remember how that day 22 years ago impacted and continues to impact so many.