From left to right are Wellston Mayor Charlie Hudson, 2nd Vice Commander Laura Payne, and Post Commander Robin Johnson, pictured folding the Blue Star Service Corporate Flag that was presented to the City of Wellston by the Wellston American Legion Post #371. The presentation was part of a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony held Saturday, Sept. 11 at Post 371 in Wellston. (Telegram Photo by Trevor Bailey)
From left to right are Wellston Mayor Charlie Hudson, 2nd Vice Commander Laura Payne, and Post Commander Robin Johnson, pictured folding the Blue Star Service Corporate Flag that was presented to the City of Wellston by the Wellston American Legion Post #371. The presentation was part of a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony held Saturday, Sept. 11 at Post 371 in Wellston. (Telegram Photo by Trevor Bailey)

This past weekend, the citizens of Jackson County gathered to honor the lives of the individuals lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy on its 20th anniversary with separate events taking place in both Jackson and Wellston.

On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 11 at 8:15 a.m., public safety, firefighters, police, EMS, first responders, and the general public met at Alumni Stadium at Jackson High School to remember the events that occurred 20 years ago when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. A third attack was prevented when passengers on Flight 93 forced their airplane to crash in rural Pennsylvania before it could be used by terrorists to hit presumed targets in Washington, D.C.

The event at Alumni Stadium started with a video presentation narrated by former President George W. Bush, who was in office during the time of the tragedy. Afterwards, first responders presented the flags of the First Responders Color Guard.

When the opening ceremony was complete, the present firefighters and other emergency service workers made their way to the bleachers of Alumni Stadium and climbed 110 flights of stairs in a symbolic gesture of respect and remembrance. During this time, the participants and audience listened to the recordings of the New York Fire Department’s radio footage on the day of Sept. 11, 2001.

Moments of silence were held and presented by local chaplains at the times of 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m., 9:59 a.m., 10:03 a.m., and 10:28 a.m. The ceremony in Jackson concluded with the retiring of the colors and a closing prayer.

Jackson County first responders are: Bloomfield Township Volunteer Fire Department, Coalton Fire Department, Jackson Fire Department, Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department, Liberty Township Volunteer  Fire Department, Madison-Jefferson Joint Fire District, Scioto Township Volunteer Fire Department, Wellston Fire Department, Jackson County EMS, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson Post/Ohio State Highway Patrol, Jackson, Wellston, Oak Hill and  Coalton Police Departments, MedFlight and AirEvac.

At noon, the American Legion Post #371 of Wellston held its own Sept. 11th tribute ceremony at its location on South Pennsylvania Avenue. The event was emceed by 2nd Vice Commander Laura Payne and featured guest speakers representing the Wellston Fire Department and EMS. Additionally, the ceremony featured testimonies regarding where individuals were and how the tragedy affected them and the country.

During the Legion’s 9/11 tribute ceremony, the City of Wellston was presented with a Blue Star Service Corporate Flag. Present to accept was Mayor Charlie Hudson. During his address to the people present, Mayor Hudson advised, “We need to remember where we came from and what’s happened.”

To close his speech, Hudson announced that Sept. 11, 2021, would be proclaimed as Remembrance Day in Wellston. The crowd took a moment of silence and “Taps” was played by a member of the Wellston American Legion Post, concluding the memorial ceremony.