Italy students gather to commemorate the tragedy of September 11, 2001

Image: Reid Jacinto playing the National Anthem at the Italy High School.

Reid Jacinto playing the National Anthem at the Italy High School. (Cindy Sutherland)

We all know the sadness that took place ten years ago on September 11th. We know that terrorists attacked our wonderful country, the United States of America. Four planes were hijacked in mid flight. Two of the planes were flown into two skyscrapers at the World Trade Center in New York City and caused them to catch fire and collapse. Another plane destroyed part of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. and the fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In all, nearly three thousand people were killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks.

To commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks students at the Italy High School and Stafford Elementary met around the flagpole at each campus to remember the many people that lost their lives.

At the Italy High School campus Reid Jacinto (11th grader) played the National Anthem and Taps on his trumpet. “I am playing the National Anthem and Taps here and at Stafford Elementary. I am very honored. This means a lot to me. It is a big deal for me to be playing on this day in remembrance of 9/11.”

Megan Richards (Italy High School student) told about the sadness and lost lives, how our world has been changed and won’t be the same again.

Lee Joffre (Italy High School principal) told the high school students that he learned through the 9/11 tragedy that people bond together as a strong unit during stressful times. He encouraged the students to bond together not only in tragedies but in everyday life and to continue to do this after you graduate from school.

At Stafford Elementary all the students and staff were wearing red, white and blue and yellow ribbons in memory of 9/11. Reid Jacinto was playing the National Anthem to a hushed crowd of students.

As they were gathered together saying the Pledge of Allegiance, Stafford principal Jason Miller told the students, “Every time you said the words of the Pledge of Allegiance someone has died for you so you could have freedom.” He went on to say that everyone here was going to one day be a leader and they need to remember the people that died for them when they become leaders.

When asked what the gathering at the flagpole was about, Principal Miller responded, “This is our way of comemorating September 11th and I want the students to understand it is about freedom. About having the opportunity to come out and say the Pledge of Allegiance and being able to come in and out of a building and be safe. We have to teach the students history. If we do not teach them history, we will just have the repeat of the same things. I want them in fifteen, twenty years down the road to remember that this is an event we commemorated on the 10th year anniversary of 9/11. It is about freedom for the students, freedom for America. It is more than our small community here, they have to look at the big picture. That is one of the things I want the kids to know.”

We all will remember September eleventh with sadness but also with the knowledge that when we are threatened we band together and get stronger.