Commanding general addresses students at St. Anne-Pacelli on 9/11

Commanding general addresses students at St. Anne-Pacelli on 9/11

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Many students today weren’t alive on a day that many will never forget. They learn about 9/11 from textbooks, teachers and parents.

Students at St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School were able to hear from a four-star, commanding general with the U.S. Army Forces Command. Michael Garrett spoke on faith, family and his service. He also shared what 9/11 was like for him.

“America woke up that day never anticipating an attack against this country. The attack that claimed the lives of 2,977 innocent people,”Garret said.

Garrett attended St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School in 1976. More than 40 years later, he stepped back into the halls for the first time, on the anniversary of 9/11.

“18 years ago today, it occurs to me many of you weren’t even born yet," Garrett said.

History Teacher Jonathan Burgess said having the commanding general on campus was an amazing experience. Burgess said he shows a video at the beginning of each class on 9/11.

“There was absolutely silence," Burgess said, "from all of my students, it was kind of an emotionally visceral type of clip but it hit home for those students.”

Although Burgess said most students weren’t born yet, senior Maggie Espiritu was three days old on September 11, 2001.

“It’s been really important to me to remember that it’s super significant and even though I wasn’t around before today, we live with all the effects of 9/11,” Espiritu said.

“They need to know what it was like before 9/11 as well to see some kind of connection as to what they’re going through and why. I try to tell them there’s a reason why things are the way they are today, and 9/11 was a milestone in U.S history,” Burgess added.

Garrett said it amazes him how young people, who were very young or not born on 9/11, are continuing to fight for their country after almost two decades at war.

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