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Topeka West’s JROTC reflect on 9/11

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -Topeka West’s JROTC paused Friday morning to reflect on one of the darkest days America has witnessed.

9/11 hits close to home for this community.

“We stood up as a battalion, we started out the JROTC program here in the fall of 2001, that school year, and our very first uniform inspection was on September 11th, 2001 and we have pictures of that from the archives, 20 years ago of the cadets standing there in uniform,” said Senior Army Instructor, James Hall.

Timing isn’t the school’s only connection to 9/11. A building on campus is named for a 1998 graduate, who is among the casualties of the war on terror that followed.

“It has been formally designated by the school board for the Kyle G. Thomas leadership education center, some of the enlisters may have remembered there was a well-spring of patriotism after the events of that day and thousands of people joined the military and Thomas was one of those people,” he said.

Thomas was killed in action in Iraq, which is why cadet, Ethan Adams, says even though he wasn’t born when 9/11 happened, it’s important to know what happened.

“You have kids that walk around here that don’t have a clue, some don’t even have a clue that this happened and they should do their research and take the importance of what happened in American history,” said Cadet Adams.

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