Seven Slot Society of SWLA Holds Annual 9/11 Memorial Cruise
The Seven Slot Society of SWLA was started with the idea of community involvement, off-roading, environmental protection, and charity. Founders Jared Chandler and Russ Conrad saw a need for it in SWLA, and started the club a few years ago. Their first "big" event was a toy drive where the group collected toys to donate to Brennan's Blessings in Westlake, LA. Since that first event, they have gone on to work with other clubs in SETX and Louisiana to give relief to flood victims, runs for various causes, and raising over $140,000 for Sr. Trooper Stephen Vincent.
Yesterday, they held their 4th annual 9/11 Memorial Cruise. They met South of town in Lake Charles and drove North on Ryan to the 9/11 Memorial located at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The members had flags flying as they pulled into the Civic Center. Jared Chandler, President, is also a Lake Charles Firefighter so it hits very close to home to remember what happened on September 11. The club arrived to the memorial site and filed in around the twin beams and reflecting pond. Vice President, Russ Conrad, began to tell the club about the Memorial in Lake Charles. The beams were from the Trade Center, brought to Lake Charles along with a piece of the Pentagon encapsulated behind glass. Designed by a local artist, there are pieces of glass embedded into the surrounding walls to represent each life lost on that tragic day.
After the description of the Memorial was read, the club's Chaplin, Raymond Nichols, prayed. Before praying, he put something into perspective for the group.
Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day on September 11, 2001. The population of Iowa, Louisiana is roughly 3,200.
That really hit home for the group, as he began to pray for the families, friends, and all involved in the tragedy. After finishing, the club observed a moment of silence. President Jared Chandler stepped forward and place an arrangement of flowers at the base of the twin beams and began to read the Fireman's Prayer.
As the pray was over, the club stayed quiet and filed out one by one until reaching their respective Jeeps.
They will continue to do the annual event, and encourage others to do the same whether they have a Jeep or not.
We do it at the same time each year, and the same way. If the public would like to participate in our ceremony, they are always more than welcome to. We had quite a few that heard about it last year and met us here to participate with us. We never will forget. VP Russ Conrad