WIESBADEN, Germany - It's been almost a decade since the deadly attacks on New York City's Twin Towers and the Pentagon, but the ramifications continue to be felt around the world.
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For students at Wiesbaden Middle School, remembering those killed on Sept. 11, 2001, and in the years since in service to the nation, has become an annual tradition.
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"Today is a day we remember those who gave their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and those who still selflessly serve," said keynote speaker Col. Jeffrey Dill, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander, during a special Patriot/Constitution Day observance at the school Sept. 10.
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As members of the middle school band played patriotic songs, such as "God Bless America" under the direction of Jena Hancock, and the high school's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps trooped the colors, students, teachers and parents gathered to reflect on the impact of 9-11.
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Referring to all those who make up the greater Wiesbaden military community, Dill said, events such as Patriot/Constitution Day "have a special place. ... We will never forget."
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The garrison commander talked about the vital role of the U.S. Constitution in American life - and especially in the lives of service members who swore an oath to protect and defend the rights guaranteed in the U.S. document - protecting "the rights of all American citizens."
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He also talked about the meaning of patriotism. "A patriot is someone who loves and defends his or her country. I believe that makes all of us here today patriots."
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In introducing the observance speakers, Wiesbaden Middle School Principal Chuck Fannin observed how those old enough to be aware at the time "can remember vividly the events of Sept. 11, 2001."
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"The people that were lost will never be forgotten," said middle school teacher Milli Dixon, who explained that she worked as a civilian audiologist in the Washington, D.C., area at the time. "I will never forget the stories of those people who were lost."
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Dixon, a self-described daughter and sister of military veterans, and a military veteran herself, told those gathered that time she spent serving in Saudi Arabia made her particularly aware of the freedoms enjoyed by American citizens. Besides remembering those who were lost in the carnage of 9-11, "we must never forget to respect the freedoms that we have," Dixon said.
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Page last updated Tue September 14th, 2010 at 12:59