(Editor’s note: The following column on Meadow Bridge High School’s program on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America was written by teacher Stacy White.)
Do you remember exactly what you were doing when you heard the horrific news on Sept. 11, 2001? Student Council President Caitlin White was in kindergarten on that tragic day. She doesn’t remember much other than the sadness of her teachers at school and the disbelief of her parents as they watched television that evening.
How could anyone not be aware of the tragedy of that day? To those of us old enough to remember the devastation terrorists brought to America, it seems impossible that some might not understand the sorrow our country experienced during the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history. Who does not have the picture of President Bush addressing the rescue workers, through a bullhorn, as he stood atop the rubble of the towers and declared, “The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” embedded in their minds?
Who can believe it has been 12 years?
MBHS Social Studies teacher Mr. Woodrum administered a survey to his history classes. When asked the results of the survey, he stated, “I was surprised by the number of students who basically had no idea what happened on 9/11.”
Upon hearing the survey results, the Student Council took action. Realizing the current seventh-grade students were just days old or not even born at that time prompted the group to plan an educational memorial for the school.
Council President Caitlin White stated, “It is important that we ensure the younger generation has knowledge of Sept. 11, 2001. They need to know the history that changed America forever.”
Treasurer Felicia Pomeroy added, “Future generations will not know what happened that tragic day in history. We must ensure this tragedy is never forgotten.”
On this 9/11, a moment of silence was held at 8:45 a.m., the time the first plane struck the North Tower. Later in the day, the entire student body was released to the football field to form a huge circle. An American flag was passed from person to person as the chronology of that fateful day was read by council members over the loudspeaker.
Biology teacher Ms. Gwinn sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America.”
All heads were bowed as the Student Council led the student body in prayer, asking for peace for the survivors and families affected by that act of terrorism. The students were then released and quietly walked back to their classes.
Principal Mr. Henry stated, “It was amazing to see an entire student body realize the seriousness of this day and display such respect for our country; not one student acted out of line.”
So yes, it is hard to imagine that the memories of that terrible day could fade as time passes, but it is happening. Let’s all take the initiative and emulate the actions of the Meadow Bridge High Student Council to educate younger generations and instill in them the honor and respect for those Americans affected by that heinous act of terror and those fighting for our freedoms before and since that day.