Honoring First Responders, Lives Lost On And Since 9/11

September 12, 2021

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday to mark the 20tth anniversary of 9/11.

The event in the WSRE parking honored those how died on 9/11 and those that have died since in the war on terrorism.

Lance Cpl. Jonathan R. “JR” Spears of Molino was killed by enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ar Ramadi on October 23, 2005. His father, Tim Spears, was one of those attending Saturday’s ceremony.

“Unfortunately there will be more and we just want them to know that we are here for them, we’ve been through it and if they need anything we’re here to support them and get them the help that they need,” Tim Spears said.

“He came home that day from school on 9/11 and said ‘This has really affected me and I need to do something,’” Tim Spears said. “The next year when he graduated, that was one of the first things that he did. He went straight to the Marine Corps recruiter.”

Spears was the first Escambia County Marine to be killed in Iraq.

“That [was] one of the main things we were worried about was eventually JR would be forgotten and thanks to a lot of people so far, that has not come true,” Tim Spears said.

Jonathan R. Spears is one of the over 7,000 names appearing on the GoldStars Tribute Wall that was on display Saturday.

For a photo gallery, click or tap here.

Photos courtesy WSRE for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


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