Taft Featured Speaker at 9/11 Event - TribPapers

Taft Featured Speaker at 9/11 Event

Photo by Aaron Lee on Unsplash

Weaverville – As September approaches, the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attack stands as a solemn reminder of one of the most tragic days in American history. Weaverville’s Patriotic Committee is steadfast in its commitment to honoring the memories of the nearly 3,000 Americans who lost their lives on that fateful day. With unwavering determination, the committee is gearing up to host its annual remembrance event, a tradition that has not only paid tribute to the victims but has also united the community in shared grief, resilience, and patriotism.

Joe Wheeler, a dedicated member of the Patriotic Committee, wants to remind everyone of the importance of this event. His efforts to remind everyone of the 9/11 Observance serve as a testament to the importance of commemorating the lives lost and the enduring impact of that day. The event will take place on Monday, September 11, 2023, at 11 am, and will be held at the Community Center at Dottie Sherrill Knoll, overlooking the serene Lake Louise.

Renee Traft. Photo submitted.

Over the years, the committee has offered a diverse roster of speakers who have offered poignant narratives about the tragic events of 9/11. These speakers have ranged from military personnel to the valiant 911 workers who were present at Ground Zero. The words they’ve shared have had an indelible effect on the hearts and minds of attendees, touching them on a deep emotional level. This year is set to carry on that tradition with an impactful speaker that promises to resonate just as deeply.

Renee Taft’s story serves as an embodiment of the transformative power that this national tragedy had on individual lives. As a high school junior, she watched the events of 9/11 unfold in her American history class, an experience that would go on to shape her life’s course in unforeseen ways. The moment was a catalyst, propelling her to make a profound decision: to follow in the footsteps of her beloved grandfather and join the US Navy, dedicating herself to serving her country in any way possible.

For three years, Taft served as an operation specialist aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. After her military service, she transitioned back to civilian life, embracing the role of a single mother with a commitment to raising her two children with boundless love and care. Following subsequent chapters that included marriage and a renewed sense of purpose, she made the decision to rejoin the Naval Reserves, ultimately being commissioned as an officer in the nurse corps.

Taft’s journey of self-discovery and growth didn’t stop there. With unwavering determination, she pursued multiple degrees in nursing and now finds herself fully engaged in her role at the Community Living Center at Asheville’s Veteran Administration Medical Center. As the Assistant Nurse Manager overseeing long-term care and hospice, Taft is a beacon of compassion and support for those in need.

Her story, one of resilience and unwavering dedication, will take center stage at the upcoming event. Taft’s willingness to open up about her experiences has allowed her to embark on a cathartic journey of healing and introspection. Through sharing her journey with the community, she hopes to inspire others to confront their own obstacles, discover their purpose, and make a lasting positive impact in their lives and the world around them.

The event will contain more than just Taft’s inspiring narrative. The program will feature diverse participants, including the Reuter Center Singers, whose harmonious melodies will evoke a sense of unity and remembrance. The invocation and benediction will be led by Rebecca Gurney, pastor of Reems Creek Beech Presbyterian Church, providing spiritual guidance and solace. The sad yet poignant sound of Taps will be played by a member of the Weaverville Fire Department, followed by the evocative melodies of Howard Dusenbery’s bagpipes, a perennial favorite.

The event stands as a welcoming and inclusive gathering, open to all who wish to pay their respects and remember the lives lost on that tragic day. Ample parking options will be available below and behind the community center, ensuring that all attendees can join together in solemn remembrance and reflection. As the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the Weaverville community once again demonstrates its commitment to honoring the past while fostering a sense of unity and hope for the future.