Paintsville Elementary’s fourth, fifth and sixth graders joined city officials, first responders and other guests in attending a Patriot Day ceremony held at Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s Mayo Campus on Tuesday.
Mayo Campus Coordinator Randy Haney said he was honored to see the young students so interested in the ceremony, and dutifully standing through the National Anthem performed by Isabella Jacobs with the Big Sandy Singers.
“I looked around while all this was going on, and I saw the elementary students, and how they were standing there, looking at the flag with their hands over their hearts,” Haney said. “That’s an honor to me. That’s where it starts at, in our homes and in our schools.”
Guest speaker Brad Patrick, a first lieutenant with the U.S. Army Reserve and Judge Advocate General’s Corps, said events like Tuesday’s remembrance were the best way to honor the victims, the first responders and the members of the armed services lost following the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil on Sept. 11, 2001.
“There were a lot of people who were lost. The least that we can do is look back on that day and never forget it, and I suppose that’s the reason for Patriot Day,” Patrick said.
Patrick told the children that watershed moments like the 9/11 attacks stay with a person forever.
“Certain events in history, when they happen, you remember them vividly. I always hear my mom talk about when President Kennedy was assassinated,” Patrick said. “I don’t know what the future holds, but if an event big enough happens, you’ll remember right where you were at, what you were doing.”
BSCTC President and CEO Dr. Sherry Zylka took a moment during the ceremony to recognize and honor the members of the audience who serve Paintsville, including representatives of the Paintsville Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, local fire departments and the Floyd County Emergency and Rescue Squad.