The Smithfield-Selma community gathered to reflect on one of the nation’s most horrific tragedies with a ceremony at Smithfield-Selma High to commemorate the 18 year anniversary of September 11, 2001.
Students, teachers, administrators, community members, and first responders, along with JCPS Superintendent Dr. Jim Causby and the Johnston County Board of Education gathered at Smithfield-Selma on Wednesday, Sept.11 for the special ceremony.
Smithfield-Selma High has held ceremony commemorating 9/11 every year since 2002.
Veterans as well as local law enforcement, fire, and EMS crews were honored for their service to the community.
The school’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) program led the ceremony. Cadet Chloe Anne Cotto recounted moments of the attacks on September 11, 2001. Her fellow cadets, Emily Guzman and Jenifer Aparicio, struck a bell to signify each of the attacks.
Retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford was the guest speaker for the program. Lunsford is a Purple Heart recipient and survivor of the Nov. 5, 2009 Fort Hood shooting. He spoke to guests about perseverance and overcoming trials and tribulations.
Cadet Cotto concluded the ceremony by singing the National Anthem, followed by student bugler Vadrian Sanders playing taps while the NJROTC presented the colors.