by Sebastian Gordon
PSC hosted “Freedom Quest”, an event marking the 20 years since the World Trade Center Attack on September 11th, 2021. This event was held in memory of the 2,996 individuals who died. It also honored the military members who have died as a direct response to this attack.
The occasion celebrated America and its resilience and specifically observed the courage of the military, first responders, and Gold Star & Surviving Families. There were various activities, such as patriotic speakers, music, and food trucks.
There was also a “Touch-a-Truck” experience in the WSRE Studios parking lot. Guests were invited to touch first responder rigs, a Pensacola Fire Department ladder truck, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department Mobile Command Headquarters, Pensacola Police squad cars, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse horses, and the Life Flight Helicopter.
Several first responders and local law enforcement showed up to demonstrate their equipment to the public. They also mingled with attendees and answered any questions related to their work. Booths representing veterans were also set up.
The traveling Gold Star Tribute Wall was also present. The wall contained named stars of the over 7,000 military personnel killed in the line of duty during the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars. The names of the 13 American soldiers recently killed in Afghanistan were also added to the wall.
Pensacola State College’s Men’s Baseball team and the Women’s Basketball team volunteered to set up the Gold Star Tribute Wall. Jill Hubbs stated, “We are proud of these young men and women from PSC and their coaches who spent hours in the hot sun, making this display possible for our community.”
Judge Gary Bergosh discussed America and The Constitution, Captain Keith Hoskins USN (Ret.) explained the Veteran Impact, Sheriff Chip Simmons talked about First Responder Recognition, and finally, Jill Hubbs described the Gold Star & Surviving Families: The Toll on a Nation of Survivors.
The Modern Eldorados, Sugarcane Jane, The Pensacola Opera Singers, Jazz Vocalist Kitt Lough, and the Mixon Magic Performance Studio presented a diverse range of musical presentations.
Dr. Meadows welcomed the crowd, and WSRE covered the entire event to include in a local program.
The family-orientated event was incredibly powerful. The turnout was great, and the patriotic community was able to get together.