Washington High School, which has a total of 240 Air Force Junior Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Cadets, hosted a special ceremony in observance of the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The half hour ceremony included singing the National Anthem, raising the American Flag, and brief remarks by the Cadet Wing Commander followed by a moment of silence.
Before the ceremony, cadets were inspected by leadership from District Administration, Washington High School, and the Air Force Cadet Academy. A few things evaluated during the inspection are patches being lined up correctly, cleanliness of hair, and hats worn correctly if styled in a bun. Lt. Col. Patrick McCormack said the Junior ROTC inspection rating succeeded expectations.
Washington High School Air Force Junior Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) is believed to be the most diverse cadet corps in the country, which speaks 12 different languages and has students that come from many different countries.
LaKota Land, cadet senior master sergeant and junior at Washington High School, recited a poem at the ceremony. Land was inspired to write a poem in memory of her cousin who was working in New York the day of the 9/11 attack.
Land said she felt like the event went really well and it inspired a lot of cadets.
“We look back into our history thinking about what changed our society, and right now our generation is catching up with it by understanding what happened that day,” said Brayan Rios, cadet colonel wing commander and senior ranking cadet in the program.
The JROTC program was established at Washington High School in 1993, with some of its curriculum including leadership instruction training and aerospace science.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, four coordinated terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda, an Islamist extremist group, killed nearly 3,000 people in the New York World Trade Centers, The Pentagon, and those who were on Flight 93.
Simone Garza is a Report for America corps member based at The Community Voice covering Wichita’s African-American community.