Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
9/11 remembered throughout UCPS
As the stirring melody of the National Anthem filled the Forest Hills High School gymnasium, about 1,000 students, all waving American flags, sang the Star Spangled Banner in honor of its 200th anniversary.
Students and faculty also remembered the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and the terrorist attacks on America that resulted in the deaths of 2,996 people.
Like many schools in Union County, Forest Hills High School commemorated the day with patriotic songs, while carrying American flags and wearing red, white and blue.
In recognition of the 13th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the school held a moment of silence, and students and teachers spent time talking in class about the events of the day, some sharing memories about 9/11 and its impact on America.
FHHS Principal Dr. Kevin Plue said that many of his students, most 14 and 15 years old, are too young to remember the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“We want to make sure they understand the importance of that day and what it meant, what happened to our country that day and how it changed the world that they live in today,” Plue said.
“Today’s event will not only let them know about a piece of history that many of them are too young to remember, but it will also help them to understand that it’s been 200 years since our National Anthem was written,” Plue added. “They need to be proud of that as an American.”
Prior to the assembly, students watched a video filmed by the students, which interviewed teachers about their 9/11 experiences. Some of the teachers had been in New York when the Towers fell, while others had known people who were killed in the attacks. Some teachers simply shared their memories of the day of the attack.
“I was a senior in high school and was in my English class,” said FHHS teacher Dawn Jordan. “I was devastated when I learned about the attacks. As a New Yorker, we were taught we were invincible, strong, that no one could touch us. When that happened, it was earth shattering. I still think about it. I think about the terror. I think about the emotions. But I also think about how great everyone was. Everyone helped one another. We all came together.”
Sadie Hamilton, 16, a junior, said many students were moved to tears during the day. “We went over the attacks in class today and some people started crying and got really emotional about it,”
Sadie said. “It’s a sad day, and I think we need to remember it. I’m glad the school did this, it shows students we need to give respect for the families and those who suffered. I think they need to celebrate this a lot more because it’s important to our country.”
Hayden Maddox, 16, junior at Forest Hills, has no memory of the actual attack as she was only 4-years-old, but said she still understands the impact of the event and its significance to our nation’s history and future. “It brought us all together as a nation and we supported each other.”
Rebecca Kiker, a Career Development Coordinator at Forest Hills High, who was a sophomore in college when 9/11 happened, said she believes patriotism toward America is very important and thinks students understand that fact.
“Students have generations above them that served in multiple wars,” Kiker said. “They may not have anyone or know anyone currently serving in the military, but at some point-in-time in their family tree, there are those who served and lost their lives for the freedoms that we have today.”
Students apparently did understand the significance of the day, as evidenced by the reverence in the FHHS gym during the JROTC Presentation of Colors and the singing of the National Anthem.
Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Sep 11, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe