A day of Rememberance
Morgan County celebrates Patriot Day Thursday
By Kathryn Purcell
Despite practicing to her nine-year-old little sister, cadet Lieutenant Colonel Jocilyn Mims, deputy group commander of the Morgan County High School AFJROTC, was nervous when she got onto the podium at Thursday’s Patriot Day ceremony. She was so nervous, in fact, that she put each of the pages of her speech in clear, plastic paper protectors, so that when her hands sweated, they wouldn’t smear the print on the paper.
It’s been a tradition that the high school’s deputy group commander speak to the crowd at the annual ceremony and, coupled with the backdrop of the Morgan County Courthouse and over 100 people in the audience, Mims felt she had a lot to live up to.
“I was nervous as all get-out,” Mims said.
Given the assignment of delivering the speech by AFJROTC instructors Colonel Donnell and Chief Allwine in August, Mims said she thought about what to day for a long time, but it took merely a day to get her thoughts on paper.
“I wrote it all by myself,” Mims said. “My sister, who’s nine-years-old, said ‘It seems like a professional wrote it.’”
Mims was nine years old herself, and in the fifth grade, on September 11, 2001. She wrote her speech based on what she remembered, and the effect she felt the tragic events of that day had on American families.
“It’s about what 9/11 meant to me, how it affected my life and, also, how it affected children’s lives,” Mims said. “It’s graphic because that’s what I saw – building in flames, injured people in ambulances, people jumping to their deaths to keep from having to suffer.”
Though graphic, at least in her opinion, the speech was received well by friends, members of the school community and members of the larger Morgan County community. In fact, she was named a “Good Dawg Deed Winner” at the school Friday.
“Everybody I talked to said ‘You did so good, you made me tear up,’” Mims said. “My friend even said, ‘You made an old lady cry.’”
In the end, Mims was glad for giving the speech; it helped her gain confidence.
“It was a good experience,” Mims said.
From Mims’ “September 11, 2001 Speech”:
I was nine-years-old, and in the fifth grade. I was just walking into my house from off the bus only to find my mother in her bedroom watching the news. What I saw on that TV screen, I will never forget. The Twin Towers were smoking and in flames. You see the injured and burned people being rushed away for medical attention. You see people jumping to their death from the top floors only to avoid having to suffer. I was terrified that maybe terrorists would attack Atlanta. I remember sitting up in bed that night, asking what we should do if anything like that were to happen.
I try to always remember that day. Ever since then I’ve always wanted to join the military and fight for the country I live in, stand for, love.