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Proctorville ceremony remembers 9/11 tragedy

PROCTORVILLE — Nick Mannon was only 8-years-old when the Twin Towers in Manhattan crashed to the ground on Sept. 11, 2001, so his memories of that day are sparse.

But he was one of about 20 Fairland High School band members who volunteered to remember that tragedy in a special ceremony Friday morning.

“This is to commemorate the awful deed of 2001 by remembering the lives of those lost,” Mannon, a Fairland High junior, said.

Hosted by the Proctorville branch of WesBanco, the morning ceremony was marked with ritual and tributes from those participating.

The ceremony began with the Proctorville VFW Post 6878 honor guard standing at attention as Robert Fulton sang a medley of patriotic ballads extolling the heroism of both soldiers and their families alike.

Nearby sat Amy Schenewark of Proctorville with her 2-year-old son, Miller.

As the honor guard began the slow ascent of the American flag to the accompaniment of Fulton singing the National Anthem, she quickly jumped to her feet, placing her hand over her heart.

“I think we shouldn’t forget what happened,” she said. “Whether it is the people who died or the soldiers who sacrificed for our country.”

Brandon Smith of Wesbanco was the key speaker for the event that was also attended by the local unit of the Coast Guard, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s K-9 unit, the Proctorville Fire Department and the Proctorville village police.

“This is really important,” Smith said before the ceremony began. “It has been eight years since the biggest tragedy in our country in my lifetime. It is important to reflect that we have people protecting all of us.”

After the songs and words, the Fairland High band played a short medley of patriotic songs under the leadership of band director, Keith Carper.

“This is a good thing for them to do,” Carper said about his students, “To see something (like this) out in the community.”