Patriotism real in Decatur

Emilia Fuentes

“Don’t lock your knees or you will fall down like a sack of potatoes,” Raider Captain and Alpha company commander Anthony Belvedere said Friday morning, Sept. 11, before the 9/11 ceremony began.

Belvedere participates in JROTC, a “cooperative effort on the part of military services and host institutions to produce success in students and citizens, while fostering in each school a more constructive and disciplined learning environment,” according to the Decatur JROTC website. The students involved participate in out of school events, such as Raider Meets, and in school events like sports events. 

To commemorate the events of September 11th, the JROTC members invited the faculty and students to a morning and an afternoon ceremony.

During the morning ceremony, community member Eddie Fowlkes received an award for his participation and service to Decatur.

Like Belvedere, Christina Sands has an important leadership position. Sands maintains a focused group of individuals in the color guard and believes “the event had a very significant impact on all of America. It’s a very sad thing because so many lives were lost and it’s something that people should take very seriously.”

Belvedere and Sands have learned many characteristics including cooperation, leadership, social and organizational skills.

“I have learned there are lots of patriots out there in the world. You’ll see someone in uniform and say ‘thank you for your service’ and you won’t even know them.” Belvedere said. “People are more patriotic than they think. Some say patriotism is dead, but I say it is very alive.”