FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- North Carolina's Spring Lake Middle School held a remembrance ceremony Sept. 9 in the school gymnasium to honor the lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks by recognizing members of the military and first responders for the work they do on a daily basis protecting our freedom.The ceremony began with personal remarks from Spring Lake Mayor, Chris Rey, and 7th Grade Math Teacher, Ms. Gabrielle Lee, who witnessed the tragic event."As Ms. Lee spoke about her experience I felt chills," said Dr. Tremaine Canteen, Assistant Principal for SLMS. "We've had the kids exposed to the literature and videos in class, but we've never given the people who work in our building the platform to share their experience of what happened."At exactly 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m., Spring Lake Firefighter Robert Farr, and Spring Lake Police Officer Kenneth Spann rang the ceremonial bell to symbolize when the World Trade Center towers were hit.A slideshow played on the screen as Spring Lake Middle School students read the timeline of events from Sept. 11.Col. Angela Bowie, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), 14th Human Resources Sustainment Center Director was a guest speaker among other community leaders and first responders from Spring Lake."A lot of [the students] weren't even here so the only thing they have to go by is hearing the different stories," said Bowie. "History has been a proven educator to our future leaders. This gives them a chance to look at what happened, how we've changed over time and how it affects them today."During her speech, Bowie recounted the events from that day and how much it has affected present business practices."11 days after the terrorist attacks, the White House appointed the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security," said Bowie. "This position did not exist prior to 9/11."Bowie highlighted not only how 9/11 changed the lives of Americans, but also how the world began to view our military."Remembering the events of 9/11 means reflecting upon a day that I pray we will never have to witness again," said Bowie. "But it can also remind us of two things: One, to celebrate life while we have the opportunity, and two, we live in the greatest country on earth."The observance was the first to be held in a public school in Spring Lake to expose young students to a part of history they were too young to experience.We hope to see this event continue in the future, said Canteen. I would love to see the students carry out majority of the program next time to show community leaders what they have learned and what they are doing to change what has happened.To close the ceremony, everyone in the gymnasium stood to their feet, held hands and sang "God Bless America."Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/1stTheaterSustainmentCommand