JROTC students’ display at SCHS pays tribute to lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001

9/11 Tribute by Social Circle High School JROTC students 2023. Photo credits: Kari Willis

The JROTC students at Social Circle High School were not yet born on Sept. 11, 2001 – the day of the hijackings and suicide attacks that killed 2,977 people in the United States. But they have lived through much of the post 9/11 society that we all live in now – and they have witnessed the sacrifices made by many in the aftermath during the years that followed.

They also have learned about it historically – when the conflict began in Afghanistan – and then in Iraq in 2003, as well as the withdrawals from both, according to Col. Bruce Chick, U.S. Army (Ret.), the Senior Army Instructor of JROTC at Social Circle. Chick said they have a history lesson on a Tuesday and it was during those lessons that they have learned the history of 9/11 factually.

This week the students got to make use of that knowledge. The entire Army JROTC Battalion completed their Community Service Learning project in such a way that pays tribute to “the first responders, firefighters, and citizens who lost their lives that day.” They did so by completing a Memorial in front of the school.

The four cadets involved, Cadet Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ambry Lofton, Cadet Executive Officer Major Mattie Townsend, Cadet Operations Officer Major Alexus Thacker, Cadet Command Sergeant Major Addie Peacock, led the project that placed 2,977 American flags in front of the school. The Memorial Display will remain there until Sept. 12, 2023.

Social Circle Mayor David Keener was out of town Friday during the setting up, but he shared his pride in the display in his city that honors those lives lost.

“As the mayor of Social Circle, I appreciate the school system’s initiative to honor and remember the victims and heroes of September 11th. I see the display of tiny USA flags as a symbolic gesture that fosters unity, patriotism, and remembrance within our community,” Keener said.

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