Goshen News, Goshen, IN

September 12, 2013

Scouts honor the victims of 9/11 attacks

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS

— WAKARUSA — Garrett Ellis was born in 2004. Three years after 9/11.

The 9-year-old has no recollection of the day his country was attacked by terrorists.

“I watched the TV show about it and I think, ‘Wow,’” said the Nappanee resident.

He’s also learned by participating in ceremonies like the one held in Wakarusa Wednesday evening, “Remember 9/11 Blood Drive and Ceremony.

It was sponsored by Wakarusa Boy Scouts of America Troop 4 and Cub Scout Pack 704.

Garrett is a Cub Scout.

“I think it’s a great day (to remember) and I’m so glad the U.S. (United States) remembers,” Garrett said.

Fourteen-year-old Nathan Hite participated in the ceremony with his Boy Scout Troop 12.

“I’m honored to be here. I’m glad to honor everyone who is here,” Nathan, an Eagle Scout, said.

Just 3 at the time, doesn’t remember much from that fateful day.

“I was really small. I remember a little but not everything,” Nathan said. “When I think about 9/11 though, I get a really sad feeling that people would do that. I feel good at least one plane was stopped before it reached its destination.”

The two scouts helped raise a 40 by 60-foot giant American flag on the Wakarusa Fire Department’s ladder truck before the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony held at Wakarusa Memorial Park.

The flag flapped proudly in the wind as a storm passed overhead during the memorial ceremony.

“We are here to honor the first responders and the military,” said Sarah Wiseman, community chairperson for Wakarusa Boy Scouts. “This is our third year (of the ceremony) to remember and never forget what happened on 9/11. We are also remembering the attack of the American Embassy in Benghazi a year ago, Sept. 11, 2012. Terrorism is still very much alive and our freedom is still not free.”

Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers was the guest speaker for the ceremony.

“Memorials are held and monuments are made so we don’t forget. Memorials are held for the living and for events that lasted for even a day like 9/11,” Rogers said. “There are memorials and monuments for great acts of valor and courage, like firefighters walking into a burning building or medics helping the injured. Aren’t we glad we have people who run to the danger? The military who are deployed, they serve with great distinction and sacrifice.”

Rogers said ceremonies like the one in Wakarusa keep Americans aware of what happened on 9/11.

“This keeps us remembering and for new generations.  We need to be thankful and give honor...for us who to soon forget,” Rogers said. “May God heal and restore this republic. May we never forget. God bless America.”