NORTH JACKSON, Ohio (WKBN) – Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Football players for North Jackson wore special jerseys at their game Friday night to pay tribute.
Jackson-Milton High School’s football team faced Western Reserve, but the night’s focus was less on the game of football and more about honoring military members for the sacrifices they’ve made.
“We just want to show our support and appreciation for all of our military members, retired and active in our community here,” said Daniel Crish, Jackson-Milton’s athletic director.
The Jackson-Milton Bluejays sported camouflage Ohio Army National Guard jerseys to commemorate the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001.
There are 20 sets of jerseys that are being rotated through schools that request them across the state. Currently, there are 17 teams scheduled to wear them this weekend.
Before the game, local military members were invited to join football players on the field. Five seniors from each team along with head coaches held up flags and banners.
“The fact that they had both teams participating is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen at one of these. So, very impressive. I actually recruited both schools and was at the other school last week so that made it kind of cool too to see rivals, you know, getting together for the right reasons,” said Kyle Branham.
Branham has been in the military for just over 19 years. He says he has been to similar events but none have been as large scale as this one.
Skydivers could even be seen holding American flags in the air before the game.
“When you got skydivers and all the bells and whistles, I mean, what’s not to like, you know? It makes us feel appreciated in a time when a lot of times we don’t,” Branham said.
Local military members placed 13 flags in the bleachers to honor each U.S. service member killed in Kabul. There was also a special moment of silence for Maxton Soviak, the Ohio Navy Corpsman among the victims.