COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Students at Mitchell High School participated in a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony Wednesday to honor the nearly 3,000 first responders and civilians who died during the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
For many of the students, they weren’t alive when the tragedy happened. Even so, most understand the significance of the day.
“It definitely means a lot to me because … if history’s not remembered, it ends up being forgotten, and I definitely don’t want to forget that this happened. No one should,” said Taveion Patterson, a senior at Mitchell High School and member of the school’s JROTC.
Patterson helped organize and coordinate Mitchell’s annual Sept. 11 ceremony. The school’s JROTC cadets, band and choir joined the Colorado Springs police and fire departments to honor the fallen, including a 1975 Mitchell graduate, Kathryn Yancey LaBorie.
Yancey LaBorie went on to become a flight attendant and was onboard United Airlines Flight 175 when it crashed into the World Trade Center, according to D-11.
“It was one of our own. It’s hard to believe, because I didn’t know her, that somebody who walked these halls that I do every day isn’t here anymore. Today, to thank her for her braveness, to be there for those people who didn’t have their families with them,” said Teriah Adames, a senior and member of Mitchell’s JROTC.
For the students, it’s an honor to remember Yancey LaBorie and the other innocent lives lost during the attacks.
“It’s not only an honor to have people come from our neighborhood, and not only an honor to have my cadets line up in flights and saluting and helping us with this ceremony, but it’s an honor for the family to come continuously, year after year, to support us in remembering their daughter and remembering the nearly 3,000 people who perished,” said Brenilde Gonzalez, a senior at Mitchell and the school’s JROTC wing commander.
Each year, Yancey LaBorie’s family joins Mitchell High School and the surrounding community to lay a wreath in her honor and award a student the Kathryn Yancey LaBorie Memorial Scholarship.
Wednesday’s event started at 9 a.m. at Mitchell High School, located at 1205 Potter Drive.
There were several other local events scheduled to honor the lives lost during the Sept. 11 attacks.
At 7 a.m., firefighters started their annual trek up the Manitou Incline in full gear to honor the 343 firefighters who died 18 years ago.
In Pueblo, people planned to gather at 7:58 a.m., which marks the exact local time the first tower fell. The event was scheduled to be held at at the World Trade Center Steel Memorial located at the Center for American Values Plaza, 101 S. Main St., Pueblo, 81003.
In Woodland Park, police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and veterans planned to meet at Lion’s Park at 9 a.m. for a remembrance ceremony. The park is located at the intersection of highways 24 and 67.
At 10 a.m. in Colorado Springs, a special ceremony was scheduled to be held at the Peace Officers Memorial in Memorial Park, 280 S. Union Blvd.