SANTEE -- Lake Marion High School students on Friday held a ceremony to remember the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Lake Marion's JROTC, led by Sgt. Major Howard Brown, conducted a special flag-raising to commemorate the lives lost 20 years ago on a day that occurred before the students present were born.
To them 9-11 is a historical event they can only hear about from those old enough to remember or read about it in their textbooks. None of them can answer the question, “Where were you when the towers fell?”
At 8:46 a.m. Company Commander Capt. Thaedyn Lail, a senior, raised the U.S. flag to mark the time when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited, followed by commentary on the attacks that was broadcast throughout the school. A moment of silence was held to remember those who gave their lives that day.
Four of Lail’s fellow JROTC members and classmates, all seniors, attended as the honor guard. Cadet Capt. Nadia Lyde, Cadet Capt. Shallaya Murry, Command Sgt. Major Darius Wright and Major Jada White stood at attention as the ceremony took place, their fellow JROTC members nearby watching.
Each of the students participating had their own thoughts and feelings on the attacks and what Friday’s ceremony represented.
Lyde spoke about why the attacks should be remembered and revisited, stating "that it is important to remember what happened so that we can learn from our history so as to not repeat it, that knowing what happened that day shouldn’t be forgotten.”
Murry spoke on the importance of the ceremony. “To remember the event is to honor those we lost and that we should continue to have them," she said.
Wright has a personal connection to 9-11 unlike his peers. At the time of the attacks, his mother’s family was living in New York and his cousin’s husband was lost that day.
“My family has talked about that day, they talked about what happened. They mentioned losing him, that it was sad, that it hurt," he said.
For White, “The attacks symbolize those who lost their lives that day, as something that can never happen again and should never happen again.”
Lail, who raised the flag, said, “As I raised the flag I felt a sense of loss. There were so many lives lost that day. I thought of what they could have done with their lives. I hope that something like this never occurs again.”
Dr. Daryl Brockington, LMHS principal, said he is proud of the students and how they conducted themselves in a special commemorative event.