Cape Fear Christian Academy’s Student Council led a wonderful service at its weekly chapel on Patriot Day. The entire school from preschool through seniors attended along with local first responders from Erwin and Dunn.
Kristen Bass, the Student Council secretary, welcomed everyone to begin the program. Karen Parker, head of school, reminded the younger students what Patriot Day is all about and recognized the school’s special guests. Following the welcome, Student Council Chaplain Reyna Johnson opened with prayer. Gavin Harris, Beau Coombs and Jacob Iwaszewki presented the colors. The pledges were led by Student Council President Meghan Taylor and the national anthem was sung by Ella John Dupree.
Trey Tripp introduced his uncle as the service’s guest speaker. Phil Matthews, who is a Vietnam veteran, a member of the N.C. Military Hall of Fame and a former first responder, greeted the crowd by taking a selfie with the students in the background. Matthews said that servicemen, policemen, firefighters and EMS are the true heroes in our society. He stated that there is a defining moment for every generation and 9/11 was that moment for many people.
After Matthew’s remarks, Cape Fear Christian showed a video filmed by West Barefoot who works with Harnett County EMS. He was deployed to the Outer Banks to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Dorian. He has two children who attend CFCA, Molly and Spencer Barefoot.
Following the video, Ellen Geddes and Lolita Tripp, both Cape Fear Christian teachers, spoke about the moment of the attacks. Geddes teaches high school English and was living in New Jersey when the Twin Towers were hit by jet airliners. She recalled seeing the New York City skyline from her town. Three of her four children, who were small at the time, now serve in the U.S. military.
Tripp, who teaches high school math, said we all must stay alert and never take our military for granted. Spencer George, the Student Council treasurer, explained that the offering collected during the service would be sent to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The service ended with the chairman of the school’s board of directors, John Dupree, singing “God Bless the USA” and a closing prayer.
Following the program, the Student Council provided a reception for all of the special guests that were able to attend.