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PRC students commemorate 9/11

Pearl River Central High School students commemorated 9/11 with three ceremonies throughout the school day Wednesday.

NJROTC cadets put nine service flags—a flag for each military branch and for police, fire and emergency medical services—on display in front of the school. The Armed Services Salute, which includes each song for each branch of the military, was played as the flags were placed. An NJROTC student read a commemoration in between the placement of each flag.

Students attending the event watched in silence while the service flags were placed, and then planted American flags around the flagpole at the entrance to the high school.

“This is 18 years since 9/11, so really it’s an opportunity to help educate the students,” said NJROTC Chief Ron Hazlewood. “Hardly any of them were even born when 9/11 happened, so it’s important that we make sure that they remember the events.”

Approximately 80 NJROTC students participated in the ceremony throughout the day and several hundred students attended, Hazlewood said.

Michael Garner, a 17-year-old student in the NJROTC program, carried the flag to honor firefighters. Garner is a volunteer firefighter with the Carriere Volunteer Fire Department.

“To carry the flag means I’m showing respect for all the firemen that lost their lives on 9/11, and it instills pride in my department,” Garner said.

NJROTC student Zachary Lassiter said he was proud to carry the army flag in the ceremony.

“It reminds people what today is. We get to honor who we lost,” Lassiter said.

This is the eighth year NJROTC students at Pearl River Central High School held an event to commemorate 9/11.

Parents, community members and service members were in attendance.