"The stories are inspiring": Fort Hayes Junior ROTC Students Reflect on Learning about National Tragedy
September 11, 2019 -- Nearly two decades since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on The United States, Americans continue to mourn and never forget the lives lost.
These Air Force Junior ROTC cadets from Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, were not born when September 11, 2001 occurred, but the stories shared here at the September 11thremembrances ceremony, held at the Mott’s Military Museum in Groveport, didn’t stop these students from honoring an important turning point in America’s history.
“All these young people, I hope you never have to feel what we feel,” said honorary speaker Dominick Maggiore, retired New York City Firefighter Lieutenant. “Those of us that can understand what happened on 9/11 it took a little bit of all of us.”
Maggorie was a medic at the time of the attacks that killed 2,977 people – including 343 New York City Firefighters, 23 New York City Police Officers, and 37 New York Port Authority officers.
Maggorie shared a story of a special New York City paramedic that he says everyone should know, his name is Carlos Lillo.
“Carlos was at Ground Zero, he went into the building and he carried out an elderly woman who was all bloody in his arms,” Maggorie says.
The retired lieutenant says he friend went into the towers three time to save people.
“Carlos went in a third time, he didn’t come out again.”
“The first responders heading in without thinking twice that was pretty inspiring,” said Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, Aidan Goulet.
15-year-old Aidan Goulet says he wants to join the United States Marine Corp when he graduates high school. Hearing Maggorie’s story inspires him even more to serve his country.
“I wanted to be in the military since I was five. I can’t even remember when I was five, but my mom on recording saying, ‘I want to be in the military just like paw-paw [grandpa]’,” said Goulet.
ROTC instructor, Major Ben Kelpek, retired United States Air Force, says hearing stories from September 11, gives these young cadets a greater appreciation for the men and women of the military and the first responders that serve and protects our country every single day.
“It was an extremely sad day when we saw the Twin Towers being attacked like it did and the Pentagon,” said Major Kelpek. “You are never going to forget that day and that is why it means a lot for me to come here and pay respects.”