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Students bring the community together for a permanent memorial on 9/11

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Photo by: Brittany Coates

In an act of remembrance for the traumatic September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the school enacted their tradition of allowing students to participate during their lunch period on Monday, spreading a message of respect for the country and the events of 9/11. It has always been common for the school to hold special events related to the September 11 attack; however, this year proved to be different for a very important reason.

In an attempt to make the memory more of a permanent one, it was decided in the association with the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honors Society, that they would hold a memorial outside the school representing their patriotic stance. Based on an idea from Social Studies teacher Heather Weisenburger, Metea students had the opportunity to paint rocks in a patriotic manner, such as writing statements like “Remember 9/11” and “Never forget 9/11”, to show their respect for their country and the people who died for it. The rocks will then be displayed at the flagpole by the main office.

Before, students would write down “I Will” statements that would be posted around the school, showcasing what they would be willing to do in service of their country and in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks. Eventually, after two or three weeks of them being posted, they would be taken down and thrown out.

“We wanted to do something that was a little bit more permanent and hopefully a little more relevant to the kids. It’s dynamic, it’s hands on, and creates a lasting remembrance of 9/11 versus those paper sheets that are temporary,” Rho Kappa sponsor Teacher Elizabeth Molla said.

As the event took place during the lunch periods, the success was evident. Students have had an overwhelmingly positive response, seeing it as a great way to express themselves while also giving to a cause that is important to them. Multiple teens came together as the rock painting started, drawing parallels to how we came together for 9/11.

“Anyone can contribute whether or not you’re closely tied to the event. 9/11 is something that affects us all and it’s important for everyone to share and be apart of remembering it,” senior Sophie Arostegui said.

The social studies staff shows great faith in this new memorial process. The students were able to creatively show pride for their country and honor for those who have sacrificed many for the good of their nation. They were brought together to do something that, while simple, represented the school and memory of the events that took place on 9/11. Also, as new students continue to come to our school and the memory of September 11 becomes less personal, Rho Kappa and its sponsors hope that the memorial can serve as a reminder of our nation’s ideals and what respect for our citizens means.

“A lot of students now are too young to have personal memories. [It’s important to] remember how important that day was and how we all came together as Americans after that,” Weisenburger said.

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