Students at Smithfield High School gathered at the front of the building this morning for the annual 9/11 Ceremony. The event, organized by the school’s JROTC program, honored the memory of the victims from that day, and recognized first responders throughout the county. The ceremony included performances by the SHS band, along with a solo rendition of “God Bless the USA” by sophomore Clay Altman. Guest speaker was Chief Alonzo Howell of the Smithfield Police Department. Service vehicles, along with members from local law enforcement and fire departments, provided a backdrop for the ceremony. The raised ladder of a fire truck proudly displayed an American flag, which served as a focal point for the event.
After the SHS program, many of the first responders headed a few miles down the road for a Heroes Parade at Hardy Elementary. A caravan of police cars and fire trucks pulled into the front bus loop, where they were greeted by cheering groups of students, waving signs and thanking them for their service. Some of the honorees walked along the line of students, giving out high-fives and posing for pictures.