Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation was privileged to host a community event to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001. Veterans, first responders, active military, and local community members joined together at Mt. Vernon High School’s Hancock Health Stadium in solemn remembrance of the events of 9/11. In addition, there were three scheduled moments of silence designed for the remembrance of the plane crashes and all of those who sacrificed their lives in service against the war on terrorism.
The ceremony was streamed live on Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation’s YouTube channel throughout every Mt. Vernon classroom for all students and the community to experience the true significance of this event. Mt. Vernon students have not experienced the events of 9/11 themselves, so the commemoration event helped them understand the impact of 9/11 on our country.
A military color guard opened the ceremony followed by the Mt. Vernon High School band performing “Star Spangled Banner.” The first moment of silence was guided by Tony May, MVCSC Board Member and Army Veteran. The playing of taps followed, creating an atmosphere of solemnity. Next, Tony Buechler, Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran and Commander of the Fortville VFW Post 6904, spoke about how the United States does not cower at the evil atrocities of terrorism, but rather our nation united after 9/11 as it strengthened our resolve and American pride.
The next moment of silence was led by Chief Chad Able of Vernon Township Fire Department. The Mt. Vernon High School choir then sang an American tribute which was followed by the last moment of silence led by Chief Bratton, Fortville Police and Army Veteran. The 14 soldiers who recently gave their lives in Afghanistan were also honored during the ceremony.
One student in attendance, Hailey Spriggs from Mt. Vernon Middle School, was asked her thoughts about the event and shared, “It means a lot of people risked their lives and a lot of people died. I think that it is really important that we honor it today today, and I’m really happy to be here. I think it’s great that Mt. Vernon is helping us understand what actually happened and how people risked their lives.”
Superintendent Dr. Parker then called on our community to focus on the unity of our nation by stating, “We must always remind ourselves that we are a United... States of America. The sacrifices and service of our active military, veterans, and first responders deserve much more than our thanks. They deserve our support. Support in putting aside our differences and standing behind them, appreciating them, and honoring them for protecting us and for fighting for our collective American spirit.”
Dr. Parker continued, “We call on our country and community to continue to demonstrate patriotism in loving and supporting one another and our country, to always support our active military, veterans, and first responders, to find and nurture our similarities while respecting our differences...and to never forget the events of September 11th of 2001 by remaining UNITED.”
To close the ceremony, students from each school formed the word “united” on the football field holding red, white and blue signs, showing a true display of American patriotism. Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation thanks all those who were able to watch, attend, or participate in the event sharing a love for our country and all those who serve.
See photo gallery HERE for pictures of the event.
Watch the full ceremony below: