Wednesday marked the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and to show respect, the American Flag and Freedom Flag flew at half-mast at Halifax County High School.
Members of the high school’s JROTC Flag Detail raised and lowered the flags during a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony Wednesday morning after First Sgt. Gregory T. Scott provided the history of Sept. 11, 2001 and of the freedom flag.
Scott reminded the crowd attending of the four coordinated attacks by Al-Qaeda that killed 2,996 people, injured more than 6,000 more and left at least $10 billion worth of infrastructure damage in its path.
“The freedom flag has a lot of representation from the 9/11 attacks,” said Scott.
The blue background represents all Americans united together for freedom, while the top red stripe is the bloodshed for those who perished at the Pentagon and the crews and passengers of Flight 77.
The white star is for all who lived and died for freedom, and the white bars represent the Pentagon.
American Airlines Flight 77 that was traveling from Dulles to Los Angeles, California, struck the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. at 9:37 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001.
The bottom red stripe is for the bloodshed of the crew and passengers who perished on United Airlines Flight 93.
United Airlines Flight 93, traveling from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
“The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was initially flown toward Washington, D.C.,” said Scott.
“After passengers thwarted the highjackers, 9/11 is the single deadliest terrorists attack in human history and the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States with 343 and 72 killed respectfully,” he added.
The three white stripes are for the rescue workers, firefighters, police officers, court authorities and others “who worked tirelessly during and after the terrorists attack.”
The two broad red stripes are twin towers and represent blood shed by the people who perished at the World Trade Center and on American Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175.
“Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110 story towers collapsed,” said Scott.
He also pointed to the time following the attacks when legislation was put into place, Osama bin Laden was found and killed, clean-ups and repairs were completed, and monuments were built in New York, Arlington and Stonecreek.
He quoted Senator John Kerry who said in 2004, “Remember the hours after Sept. 11 when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland.”
Scott added, “It brought out the best in us.”
“To all who are here today, America would never give up. We the people of the United States must learn that history has a very important part of our daily lives. Continue to strive for excellence. Be great in all you do. Always remember in order to get to something in life, you have to go through something in life,” he concluded.
HCHS band instructor Dominic Stephens also played taps.