POINT PLEASANT — Students and staff from the Mason County Career Center (MCCC) and Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School (PPJ/SHS) along with Mason County first responders, law enforcement officers, city officials and various guests gathered around the flag poles at the career center for a ceremony honoring those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
Various MCCC Future Farmers of America (FFA) officers gave the opening prayer, welcome, introductions, and closing statements, the PPHS Honor Choir performed a few patriotic selections including the National Anthem and C.J. Thornton performed taps.
After the Mason County Sheriff’s Deputies raised the flag to half mast and the staff members from MCCC said words of description of 9/11, Superintendent Jack Cullen, Point Pleasant Fire Chief Jeremy Bryant and special guest Bill Hott said a few words.
“At the end of the day, I remember government officials came on the TV and asked something I never had heard before teaching at anytime in the classroom and it was basically say a prayer for our nation, say a prayer for the victims, say a prayer for the first responders, say a prayer for the victim’s family, and no matter where you are, whether you’re at your business, home, or in school, say a prayer for them. The nation really rallied around each other and Sept. 11, 2001 is a day I will never forget,” said Cullen.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, I lost 343 brother firefighters who came in that morning as many of them had for many years not realizing it would be their last. 60 police officers, 80 EMT paramedics and 2,997 civilians perished due to the foolish events of 9/11/2001,” said Bryant. “9/11 united America for the days, weeks, months and even years following 9/11, we’re a much stronger country. We suddenly had the all for one and one for all mentality again, unity and pride filled us all.”
Bryant went on to thank the first responders, those in the military and veterans and said a prayer.
“Many heroes came out of Sept. 11, 2001, almost 3,000 people were killed, but since then, a lot of people don’t know this, over 2,000 people have died from cancer or diseases that were caused going into the buildings trying to save people, so we’re probably at around 5,000 victims…,” said Hott. “Who were those people? Those were your everyday people, those were gentlemen right there in uniform, police officers, firemen, EMS personnel, they were heroes.”
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.