9/11 ceremony

Oak Ridge Military Academy (ORMA) hosted a ceremony on Sept. 9 to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.
The September 11 attacks, commonly known as 9/11, were four coordinated suicide terrorist attacks carried out by the militant Islamic extremist network al-Qaeda against the United States on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Approximately 2,996 people, 2,977 of whom lived in America, died in the attacks on 9/11 and over 6,000 people were injured. Of the 2,977 fatal American victims, 2,753 were killed in the World Trade Center and the surrounding area, 184 at the Pentagon, and 40 in Pennsylvania.
“We honor the people that died at 9/11, a tragedy,” stated ORMA President Steve Wilson. “I gave a short talk about what happened and the importance of it and how America responded. It is very important that we don’t let young students and cadets forget what occurred. This occurred before they were born. It is also very important that we honor our military, fire department and police departments.”
At the event, ORMA cadets, ORMA staff members and others were all in attendance.
“We had local firemen from Oak Ridge, Summerfield and Stokesdale and, of course, any military personnel that were available. We had the cadets there and the flag was at half-mast. We had procedure calling the cadets to attention and then we had a speech. At the end, we placed an honorary wreath at the flagpole,” Wilson said.
ORMA is for seventh through 12th graders. While it is a military academy, academics are an extremely high priority and it shows.
“Some people think we are just a military school. We do teach discipline and structure certainly, but academics are very important,” said Wilson. “The dean here is a graduate of The Citadel and we very heavily stress academics. We have a 100 percent graduation rate and it is a requirement that you have to be accepted to a school to graduate. Only five percent of the kids go directly to the military. We graduated 16 last year and five got scholarships to The Citadel.”
Wilson continued.
“The 16 students received $1.4 million in scholarships. We could house 200 cadets, but we don’t just take everybody. We turn down many cadets that apply. We are looking for a few good men and women and we teach leadership and responsibility. That is what leaders are built from.”
ORMA recently expanded its commitment to education.
“We have an aviation program where we have a whole aviation set up. It is a course we added on. We have a flight instructor there. The cadets taking this course get points to their pilot’s license. We also have a cyber security program that has been recently added on,” Wilson said. “We also opened our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Aviation and Math) program. It is a new, innovative process where the teachers facilitate students to do projects on their own.”

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