PRESTONSBURG — Just as it has every year since 2001, Big Sandy Community and Technical College held an observance to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
College officials joined with firefighters, police officers and other first responders around the campus flagpole to remember the day when hijackers crashed planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 people.
Prestonsburg Fire Chief Bobby Carpenter spoke during the ceremony, and he said one of the lessons taken from the terrorist attacks was the strength and resilience of the American people.
“That day, we were taken by surprise,” Carpenter said. “We were hurt, we lost many of our own, but we did not stay down.”
But while remembering the horrors and lessons of that day were foremost on the minds of those attending the event, paying tribute to first responders — many of whom attended the ceremony — was a close second.
“For all the firefighters, police personnel and emergency responders with us today, we sincerely appreciate all that you do to protect and defend us each and every day,” BSCTC President Dr. George Edwards said.
Shaun Little, public information officer for Kentucky State Police, agreed and noted that such men and women often put themselves in harm’s way, simply by going to work.
“Every day, these individuals kiss their children, hug their spouses and leave their homes, knowing that may be the last time they see their children and their spouse again,” Little said.