“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 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. The Kennesaw Mountain 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. 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,” explained Kennesaw Mountain Principal Nathan Stark.
Ninth grader and JROTC cadet David-Nelson Tokognon thinks September 11, 2001, is something Americans should always remember.
“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,” David-Nelson said.
David-Nelson joined the Kennesaw Mountain JROTC program because he was looking for a purpose. Sophia Rosa, whose father served in the U.S. Army, joined JROTC to follow her sister’s lead. She also wanted to know what it was like to be in the military.
David-Nelson and Sophia may have had different reasons for joining JROTC, but they both 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,” she added.
As the Kennesaw Mountain cadets raised the flag with a backdrop of fire trucks, the crowd stood silent as they paused to remember how that day two decades past impacted and continues to impact so many. We will remember.