The school program began exactly at 8:46 a.m. with a moment of silent meditation to mark the exact time of the first striking of the North Twin Tower in New York City by the terrorists’ hijacked plane. Principal David Rivera then led the student body in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by student Christin Lafleur recounting the beginning of the terrorists’ attacks in New York City upon the Twin Towers.
Finally, the song, “God Bless the U.S.A.” echoed through the intercom. This music, along with the wearing of the national colors of red, white and blue, inspired much patriotism within Evangeline Central on the seventh anniversary of 9-11.
The intercom presentation was followed by two military guest speakers, Sgt. Ricky Thomas (from Ville Platte) and Sgt. Christopher Saxton (from Dallas, Texas).
Ms. Dianna Johnson, the Evangeline Central JAG Specialist, was responsible for obtaining these speakers. Sgt. Thomas and Sgt. Saxton also did much to motivate and instill patriotism within the school body.
Sgt. Thomas and Sgt. Saxton spoke of their personal experiences in the war against terrorism. They told the students stories of how they had served overseas in Iraq and in the invasion of Baghdad. Sgt. Saxton told of removing a flag from one of Saddam Hussein’s son’s palace. He still has this flag today and is very proud to have helped his country lead the cause against terrorism.
These two military personnel also led a discussion of the pride and joy they feel upon serving in the army, protecting their country against terrorism and answered any and all questions about enrolling in the armed forces. At all times, though, they stressed to get your GED first, and then the armed forces would help you continue your education.
All in all, the faculty, students and staff of Evangeline Central School had a very successful and informative salute to the Patriots’ Day activities and the remembrance of the 9-11 terrorists’ attacks.