ELIZABETHTOWN — Grey skies only added to the somber mood at the Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy on Friday morning as folks gathered to remember those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The speaker for the ceremony was Cadet PFC Christian Bray. He recounted how, 14 years ago, America changed forever after those attacks. Bray recounted the events of that day, including the flight of United Airlines 93.
Todd Beamer, who was a passenger on board United Airlines Flight 93, called his wife and told her what was happening on board the flight and that he loved her. Bray explained to the audience that Beamer was heard saying to his fellow passengers, “Let’s roll.”
Bray told those gathered that, in recognition of the sacrifices of those men and women who lost lives, then Pres. George W. Bush declared Sept. 11 as Patriot Day.
He acknowledged the battles being fought against terrorism and tyranny in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bray said that the sacrifices of the firefighters, law enforcement and others on that fateful day as inspiration, “We will be sure justice is done.”
Bray added that from the tragedy of 9-11 comes a renewed America.
“We are people dedicated to democracy and fighting against tyranny,” said Bray.
He told those present that those who were lost on 9-11 “will forever hold a special place in our hearts” and that, with the adoption of Public Law 107-89, Congress proclaimed Sept. 11 to be Patriot Day.
Following a moment of silence, Bray read out the time that each plane hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and when UA Flight 93 crashed into field in Pennsylvania. As Bray read the time of each impact, Cadet Sgt. Cyheim Lacewell rang a bell in honor of those lives lost. A cannon was also fired, followed by the playing of Taps.
As the ceremony came to a close, the cadets filed off the field to their classes as the strains “Amazing Grace” were played by bagpipe.
—Erin Smith can be reached at 910-862-4163.