“All of us, regardless of where we were, who we lost and whether we were alive at the time, experienced the effects of this tragic day,” began Barbourville Independent Superintendent L. Kay Dixon, a guest speaker at Forcht Bank’s annual Patriot Day event. Dixon and several others stood before hundreds of community members on Monday, September 11 to honor the fallen heroes in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“Sixteen years ago…few of us had ever heard of Al-Qaeda or Osama bin Laden and ISIS didn’t even exist to us. Nearly 3,000 people died that day when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pa,” said Dixon. “Hundreds of thousands of lives have been forever changed.”
While the attacks effected everyone differently, there is one unifying factor: everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first learned of the attacks.
“I remember exactly where I was on that day: West Knox Elementary School. I remember the librarian running into the office to inform the staff that something very bad was taking place. I remember walking into the space, watching the media report as footage showed the World Trade Center ablaze.”
Dixon also recalled the exact moment the attacks became personal.
“Later, when the third plane flew into the Pentagon, it became more personal for me as I tried to track down my aunt and her family who not only worked at the Pentagon, but other members of our family worked around. Thankfully, I didn’t lose anyone on 9/11,” said Dixon, “but for the families and friends of all those lost in the attack and later in the War on Terror, we must pray continually.”
Along with Forcht Bank employees and Dixon, others who assisted in the program were Josh Smith, East Barbourville Baptist Church pastor, the Knox County Jr ROTC color guard, GR Hampton preschool classes, Knox Central and Barbourville High School choirs, Knox County Sheriff’s Deputies Keith Liford and Claude Hudson, Alfred Yeager, Richland fire chief, Disabled American Veterans and countless volunteers.
“It is obvious that patriotism and community pride is alive and well in Barbourville and Knox County,” said Marion Forcht, president of Forcht Insurance Agency. “It is wonderful to have the opportunity to thank some people…and let them know we appreciate what they do.”