We remember 9-11
Elected officials, Panama City Beach police and firefighters and other city employees attended a special 9-11 remembrance ceremony this morning at Arnold High School.
Arnold High School Principal Keith Bland said adults have a responsibility to retell the story of September 11, so future generations will remember the attacks on our country.
He told students gathered for a 9-11 ceremony at the school, that we must continue to appreciate the sacrifices of our military, fire, police, medical personnel and other first responders who rushed in while others ran to safety.
"Most of you students were not born when this happened 17 years ago. As adults, it is our responsibility to continue to teach you about what happened today," Bland said.
What happened, as recounted by Panama City Beach Police Department Lt. Tommy Anderson, was a massive loss of life in an unprecedented terrorist attack on the United States. September 11, 2001, was the most devastating foreign attack on U.S. soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
While the attack brought a return to patriotism and a strong sense of unity to Americans, it was not without great sacrifice. Approximately 3,000 were killed, along with 343 firefighters and 71 police officers on September 11.
Calling the day a defining event in our lives, Lt. Anderson said he finds himself thinking about the day quite a bit. "We can remember exactly what we were doing and exactly where we were. After 9-11, many were inspired to join the military and many became police officers and fire fighters."
The high school has a historic remembrance of 9-11 on display at the entrance to the school auditorium -- a 250-pound limestone rock, a piece of the Pentagon facade destroyed on 9-11. The stone, encased in glass, was requested by members of the Interact Club. It is one of only 54 pieces released by the U.S. Department of Defense and on display worldwide and it is the only piece of the Pentagon given to a school.
After requesting the piece, it took more than two years to get it. School representatives drove to Washington D.C. to retrieve it on Feb. 26, 2005. The stone serves as a daily visible reminder of the losses at the Pentagon, where 125 men and women were killed, 59 airline passengers died and 63 individuals were injured.
The ceremony was sponsored by the Arnold High School Interact Club and the Panama City Beach Rotary Club. For more photos, go to our Facebook page: City of Panama City Beach Facebook
Public Information Officer Debbie Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 233-5100.