Lest We Forget returned to Ohio Christian University to remember those who lost their lives 18 years ago on 9/11 when terrorists hijacked commercial airliners and struck down the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon. The event honored the first responders who sacrificed themselves to save others on that fateful day and the military service members who answered their nation's call to fight against terrorism.
In the 9/11 attacks, almost 3,000 innocent civilians lost their lives, over 400 firefighters and police died during rescue operations, and around 7,000 members of the military lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan in the War on Terror that continues to this day. The event on Ohio Christian’s campus was organized as a reminder, lest we forget these 10,000 individuals who were lost, and the countless others impacted as a result of this poignant moment of hate.
“It’s how we remember that first news report, that first phone call that told us ‘Turn on the television!’” Event organizer Tim Throckmorton said. “Then we go to the little things that we remember about that day that we had no idea would stick in our mind forever.”
Ohio Christian President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed all who attended Lest We Forget, giving special recognition to current and former military and first responders in attendance. While he honored them for their service in keeping the public and our nation safe, he gave the ultimate honor to God.
“Tonight would not be possible without freedom and without religious freedom,” Kulaga said, “and we gather tonight under the banner of ‘in God we trust,’ and that’s our first and foremost priority at Ohio Christian University.”
The evening was full of patriotic tunes performed by the Pumpkin Show Band; and songs sung under the direction of Dr. Dione Bennett by the Circleville Choral Society, Ohio Christian University Chorale, and the Men’s Barbershop Chorus. The evening celebrated American patriotism and included a special nod to the military through the playing of each of the five branches traditional service songs.
Following the musical performances, Marine Staff Sergeant David Karnes made the keynote address. Karnes rushed to ground zero after the towers fell and helped rescue two trapped port authority officers from the rubble. His heroic actions were portrayed in the movie World Trade Center.
Throughout his retelling of the fateful day, Karnes pointed to how his faith in Jesus Christ guided his actions that day and gave him the strength to serve. He spoke of the power of prayer and the faithfulness of God, who answered every one of his prayers that day as he struggled to rescue the trapped officers from the rubble as flames threatened them.
“God sent just the right people at the right time,” Karnes said. “There were so many miracles. Every time I shot out a prayer God answered me. God led me the whole day.”
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