Twice a day, members of the Harker Heights High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps hoist and lower the colors, but their routine was different Wednesday.
“I was supposed to raise the flag this morning, but I just couldn’t do it,” said Shamiah Farrow, a senior, who bestowed the responsibility onto Jeremy Candelas, senior. “There was just a thickness in the air and I wanted to make sure the flag got raised perfectly and I was just to overcome with emotions.”
Wednesday marked the 12th anniversary of 9/11 and high school students and staff gathered around the flag pole to remember those who lost their lives that day.
“It’s important for students and the community to remember what happened and to honor those who lost their lives,” said Brittanie Whitfield, student activity coordinator.
Along with other schools in the Killeen Independent School District, the high school held a Freedom Walk.
The JROTC led the charge around the track as students from various sports teams and organizations within the school followed, along with teachers, staff and members of the Harker Heights police and fire departments.
Many students were too young to remember the events that unfolded that day, but for junior Caitlin Fleming, 9/11 is still a big deal.
“I’m a military kid, so it was important for me to participate in this,” she said. “If it wasn’t for what happened on 9/11, I wouldn’t be living the life I am.”