School Gym to remember the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, along with other U.S. tragedies.
The Patriot Day ceremony was organized and conducted by the American Legion, Post 346. Legion members attended to present the color guard.
Colonel Dick Sackett started the ceremony by defining to the crowd the difference between Patriots Day and Veterans Day. Sackett explained to the crowd that while Patriots Day is a day to remember our troops, it is also a day to remember the tragedies not only of Sept. 11, 2001, but tragedies and disasters that have happened throughout the U.S. Sackett then explained that Veterans Day is a day to honor all veterans who have served in all wars.
Sackett went on to talk to the younger members of the crowd about what it means to represent your country. Sackett pointed several different directions in the crowd as he said, "I bet many of you will graduate and become one of the brave men or women we are here to honor today."
The mayors of Hardy, Highland, and Cherokee Village each took turns introducing their chief of police and firefighters. Fire Chief Stacy Horton then stood up for Ash Flat and introduced their chief of police.
"We have had quite a year," Sharp County Judge Larry Brown said when he stepped up to the podium. Brown reminded the crowd of the tornado and floods the county endured during the past year. He told of many heroic people in the community coming together to help one another.
"I remember sitting at home the night of the tornado, it was election night," Brown said. He continued to tell stories of some of the selfless officers and city officials, as well as the brave emergency medical technicians who came out to help the community after the Feb. 5 tornado struck the Spring River area. "I remember seeing the red X on the doors of the homes that had been searched," Brown recalled. "It reminded me of seeing Hurricane Katrina on the news."
Brown told of the people he knew who had lost their homes or many of their belongings and came out in spite of their losses, to help others in the community. Brown said how he had truly seen heroes not only the night of the tornado but in the weeks following, while the area pulled together and picked up the pieces.
"What a year, we started out with single digit temperatures and straight line winds and have had tornados and floods," Brown said.