Vocational students from across the county observed a moment of silence under a dark sky at 8:46 a.m. Tuesday, the exact time that American Airlines Flight 11 was crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center 17 years ago.
In what has become a tradition, the Lorain County JVS held a ceremony in Pittsfield Township to honor those lives lost in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
An honor guard carrying firefighter axes lined up and an American flag covered with the names of Sept. 11 victims was raised.
U.S. Navy veteran Justin Frisce spoke from the foot of a student-designed Sept. 11 memorial that features a beam from the World Trade Center.
“We looked to our neighbors and our shared experience and got through it because of each other,” he said, describing a frantic 24 hours on his ship following the attacks. “The theme of brotherhood is not exclusive to the Navy. Other military branches speak of it often, and it certainly expands to all of us here.
“There is something you can personally take from today. Know that we were scared, and when you’re scared and you let fear of the unknown or fear of the other change who you are, it brings us all down. Of all the things on that day and subsequent days that were a blur, I vividly remember how we turned to one another. The America that is great is full of people who’ve overcome and look to one another to provide guidance and hope.”
District superintendent Glenn Faircloth, who served in the U.S. Army from 1990 to 1994, echoed Frisce’s sentiments.
“Certainly, some of the rhetoric that’s in this country today has put us back at this moment,” he said. “You didn’t see talk of Republicans and Democrats then. You didn’t see black or white. You didn’t see gay or straight. You saw Americans really unite together. We all were in sorrow.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.