UNION — As it has for more than a decade, Foster Park Elementary School remembered the 9/11 attacks, the lives lost that day, and the men and women of the armed services who are even now fighting to defend America and its freedoms with a special ceremony Wednesday morning.
On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 members of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger airliners and crashed two of them into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. A third airliner was crashed into the Pentagon while the fourth, which was headed toward Washington, D.C., crashed into a field near Shankville, Penn. when the passengers unsuccessfully tried to overpower the hijackers.
Every since then, Foster Park Elementary School has held a 9/11 Remembrance Program on the anniversary of the attacks and Wednesday morning was no different. The day began with breakfast attended not only by students and staff but also by invited guests from the military, law enforcement and other first responders, and representatives of local government. Then, at 9 a.m., the ceremony got under way with the school’s fourth grade performing “This Is America.”
Principal Barbara Palmer then welcomed those in attendance and pointed out to the school’s student body that many of them hadn’t even been born when the 9/11 attacks occurred. To help the students better understand what happened that day and why, Palmer introduced a group of fifth grade students — Niquaysha Norman, Kendele Sullivan, Zarria Smith, Brianna Cribb, Brianna Bailey, Shanya SMith, and Caley Brown — who told the story of “The September 11th attack on America.”
On September 11, 2001, there was an attack on America.
There are some men that decided they didn’t like what America stands for: freedom, liberty, and the rights of men and women of all races, backgrounds, and beliefs.
So on the morning of September 11, 2001, they hijacked four planes and attacked America in a terrible way.
Two of the planes were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City.
The third plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
The last plane was going to crash into another building in Washington, D.C., but the passengers stopped the hijackers, and the plane crashed into a field instead.
Thousands of people lost their lives through these attacks. Hundreds of people were on the planes. Thousands died in the buildings that were hit by those planes.
The men that arranged this terrible attack want Americans to feel afraid and disorganized. They want to make people who live in this country do what they say by threatening us. Basically they’re big bullies.
The people of the United States are a strong group of people. Keep faith in who you are and what our country stands for and we will become even stronger than before.
September 11th is now officially designated as Patriot Day.
This was followed by the raising of the American flag by the Boy Scouts and a performance of “American Tears” by Brianna Bailey.
Jantzen Childers was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s ceremony and he spoke on what a veteran is and the sacrifices being made by America’s servicemen and women.
“A veteran is a person who serves this country, especially in war time,” Childers said. “They are people willing to give their lives to defend America and its freedoms. There are men and women around the world who are serving so that we can be free to assemble here without fear.”
Childers said that the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 and who continue to try to attack it are doing so to take away America’s freedoms. He said they have been prevented from doing so, not only by the military, but also by the police and other first responders who work to safeguard the freedom and safety of the American people.
“Honor the military, the firefighters, and the police,” Childers said. “Even when you are asleep, they are working to make sure you sleep peacefully and nobody bothers you.”
After addressing the students, Childers helped conclude the ceremony by performing “God Bless The USA” with the fourth grade students.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.