ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – The annual first responders’ night at Francis Howell High School honors victims from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. However this year, the event comes during an important moment in the nation’s history.
A night honoring first responders has become an annual tradition and the event was extra special Friday night that was held during a football game.
“It’s just great to be able to honor our first responders, our military, and also our medical personnel. I think it’s been a rough year and a half for all of those groups, so it’s nice to be able to honor them tonight for their sacrifice,” said Sean Erwin, Francis Howell High School activities director.
The game ball was delivered to the parents of CJ Photinos, an alum of the school, and an air force pilot.
“It’s just so nice to see her recognized she’s worked so hard through the years and everything she does, joining the air force at 17 years old,” Richard Photinos said.
Up until a week ago, CJ flew rescue in Afghanistan.
“It was a really long week of wondering, of just not knowing. We didn’t know what was going on but we knew she was a part of it,” Richard Photinos said.
She’s back home now, helping those affected by Hurricane Ida.
The ball was a great comfort for the family as their daughter risks her life. The weight of the act captivated everyone looking on.
Ahead of Labor Day and the 20th anniversary of 9/11, every student showed that respect in their colors and support, which comforted the family on and off the field.