JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) – During their homecoming game on Friday, Jacksonville High School honored one of their own.
Army Major Dwayne Williams lost his life at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The school held a moment of silence before the national anthem, and gave his brother, Roy Williams, a gift as a token of gratitude for his service.
“And for us, it’s personal,” Principal Russ Waits said.
“Even if I didn’t know him personally, he grew up here,” senior Elaine Hudgins said.
Williams said it took ten days for officials to confirm his brother’s death.
“Its as if I’m locked in a horrible time warp, where I relive that awful day. Every day. Every day for the last 20 years,” Williams said.
Before the tribute, Williams stopped by Jacksonville High School to thank Hudgins and the media class for including his brother on their 9/11 project.
“It was really interesting getting that kind of perspective on 9/11,” Hudgins said.
“Even though they weren’t alive when it happened, they need to know the sacrifice that happened,” Williams said.
Williams hope as people remember, their patriotism goes beyond the 20th anniversary.
“By trying to return to loving each other instead of all this hate and bitterness that we see,” Williams said. “For one day, for one week. I wish it could last longer, but I know it probably won’t. We will put aside our differences and unite as Americans.”
A healing and remembrance ceremony will be held Saturday in Jacksonville at Major Dwayne Williams monument. The service will begin at 9 a.m.