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Liberty ceremony marks 9/11
Liberty WEB 1
Classmates comfort Jonathon Marrero, center, as he shares his story during a 9/11 ceremony Friday at Liberty Middle School. - photo by Autumn McBride

Forsyth Family Fest

The third annual Forsyth Family Fest is set for 10 a.m.-8 p.m. today at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

The free event will feature music, worship and activities for the community with the theme: “Celebrate hope. Remember 9/11.” For more information, go online at

Readers reflect

We asked FCN readers to share their remembrances of that tragic day 10 years ago. Their stories appear on Page 5A of Sunday's Forsyth County News.

Jonathan Marrero knows all too well the impact the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks had on Americans and their families.

During a special ceremony Friday at Liberty Middle School, the eighth-grader shared with his fellow students the story of how he lost five relatives in New York City that day.

Marrero, who was living in Manhattan at the time, had stayed home from school because he was sick. 

He was on his way to visit his grandmother as, unbeknownst to him and the rest of the world, terrorists in a hijacked plane were headed toward the World Trade Center.

“We were a block away from the South Tower when the North Tower was hit,” he said.

Marrero’s grandmother was one of the many who died in the Twin Towers that day. Two of his uncles who were firefighters and two who were police officers also lost their lives as a result of the attacks on the towers.

As Marrero grew overwhelmed with emotion about the loss of his loved ones, some of his classmates gathered around him in support.

“That day was tragic for basically everybody in my family,” said Marrero, adding that he “loved so very much” the relatives he lost.

Throughout the ceremony, students and teachers showed their appreciation by waving small flags instead of clapping.

The event included patriotic musical performances by the Forsyth Central High School Chamber Singers and Masquers as well as the Liberty Honor Chorus.

The North Forsyth High School Color Guard presented the American flag and the school observed a moment of silence.

Liberty opened in 2002. The community chose the school’s name to recognize the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks.

Following Friday’s ceremony, students put the names of those who died in the attacks in locker number 911, which serves as a time capsule.

Other schools throughout the district also observed the day, according to system reports.

The flag was flown at half-staff at Lakeside Middle and students took a moment of silence at the time of the attacks.

Faculty at Shiloh Point Elementary wore red, white and blue to honor American heroes.

Eighth-graders at Little Mill Middle painted a panel that will be on display with projects contributed by other schools today at Forsyth Family Fest.

Wristbands, T-shirts and a prayer circle/memorial were among the reminders at West Forsyth High School.