PRESTONSBURG – Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) held Patriot Day ceremonies on its Prestonsburg, Pikeville and Mayo campuses on Thursday, September 8.
Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of BSCTC, spoke at the Prestonsburg ceremony. He said the phrase “9/11” evokes special meaning, a memory when the world changed forever.
“We remember how ordinary human beings, living their ordinary lives, reacted with extraordinary heroism when – without warning and in an instant – they were thrown face to face with the most fundamental questions of human existence,” said Dr. Stephenson. “On September 11, 2001, we saw ordinary people choose duty in the face of death, as the security guards in the World Trade Center continued to help people out even as the buildings collapsed around them. On September 11, 2001, we saw ordinary people choose self-sacrifice for the good of strangers, as the passengers of the plane over Pennsylvania refused to allow the hijackers to succeed. On September 11, 2001, we saw ordinary people choosing to spend their final moments expressing their love to their families.”
Dr. Stephenson said remembering this event each year will refresh the memory of what was learned on that day.
“We learned that we not only have enemies in this world who would destroy us if they could,” he added. “But the age-old principles – duty, loyalty, self-sacrifice and love – still have meaning, and still flourish in the hearts of ordinary people we live and work with every day.”
David J. Litteral, a retired command sergeant major in the U.S. Army, was the featured speaker at the Mayo campus ceremony. Dr. Fred Klatka, pastor of Ford’s Branch Church, spoke at the Pikeville campus ceremony.