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"They have to know what we have, what we stand to lose" Students learn what happened Sept. 11
Sierra Vista Herald ^ | Adam Curtis

Posted on 09/12/2012 7:57:56 AM PDT by SandRat

SIERRA VISTA— Most of the students who gathered in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks during a ceremony at Village Meadows Elementary School on Tuesday were not born when the World Trade Center came crashing down 11 years ago.

“For her, it’s history,” Peggie Johnson said, referring to her 9-year-old daughter Willow Johnson. Yet, even as Willow’s sister sang "God Bless the USA" with her classmates, Peggie Johnson could still remember images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center in New York City and it did not feel like any time had passed at all.

“It’s hard,” Johnson said, pausing to gather herself. “And, of course, not just for me.”

Her husband is in the military, as are many of her other family members, and they have had deaths in the family due to war, Johnson said. She also knew someone who was among the nearly 3,000 who died on Sept. 11.

“It touches everybody, everybody knows somebody,” Johnson said. “To watch it, even at such a distance and know that it’s for real, you can’t help but be moved.”

She feels it’s important that the children learn about it, even if they don’t completely understand it yet.

“They have to know what happened. They have to know what we have, what we stand to lose,” Johnson said.

Coming back from greeting and thanking a variety of local first responders, 9-year-old Madison Porter ran up to her mother, Marsha Porter, and gave her a kiss before running back to class. Madison had tears in her eyes.

“Eleven years later, it’s still relevant … We haven’t forgotten,” Marsha Porter said. It’s still horrible and I hope we never forget. My husband’s in the service.”

Porter paused, pointing to her arm, which was suddenly bristling with goose bumps.

“So many people forget, they go on with their day-to-day lives and they don’t remember the impact that it’s still having on all those lives, all the mommies and daddies that are gone,” Porter said. The ceremony motivated Madison to go online and find out more about what happened. She ended up reading the names of some of the people who died.

“It just shook our whole nation … and she wasn’t even born. You don’t think of things happening like that in our lifetime but they have,” Porter said. That’s why she feels it’s vital that children learn about it.

“To teach them that freedom is not free and not to take it for granted,” Porter said. She thinks it’s awesome that the school hosts a ceremony each year.

“Maybe these kids don’t even realize it now, but I think when they get a little bit older they’ll remember how cool it was, and that their school did remember,” she said.

The ceremony has become a tradition at Village Meadows, as anyone who drives by can attest to, thanks to an American Flag formed from nearly 3,000 ribbons that the students tie to the school fence each year in honor of the people who died on Sept. 11, 2011.

But for Principal Scot Roppe, this year was different. It was more personal.

Roppe’s son-in-law, Cpl. Philip McGeath, was killed by a suicide bomber in January while serving his first deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan.

“I keep Philip near me all the time,” Roppe said, pulling out a photo of McGeath that Roppe keeps tied around his neck. Roppe called McGeath, “a good kid, great guy.”

“It’s far more poignant when you’ve got flesh in the game and that flesh is lost,” Roppe said. It’s got to be even harder when those lost are civilians, taken by a surprise attack on their own soil.

Yet, Roppe still enjoyed seeing the faces of the local police and firefighters as they shook hands with the students.

“There wasn’t one that wasn’t smiling,” Roppe said.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: children; school; sept11

1 posted on 09/12/2012 7:58:01 AM PDT by SandRat
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To: SandRat


2 posted on 09/12/2012 8:00:01 AM PDT by HiJinx (John 10:1)
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To: SandRat

I don’t know how many times that I have heard friends say that their children should not be exposed to the videos and images of September 11, 2001. I have often told my friends that they are living in a sterile made up world and should open their eyes to the reality that we live in world filled with evil and that hiding from it will only ensure that it does happen again.

Every school age child should be exposed to the horrors of September 11, 2001. Yet, my son came home and told me that in his school, there was not one mention of 911 from the teacher or the principal. Not one.

3 posted on 09/12/2012 8:51:29 AM PDT by TennTuxedo
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To: SandRat

Students learn what happened Sept. 11.

The LA Time didn’t have one item about on the front page,dumbin down in action.

4 posted on 09/12/2012 8:55:24 AM PDT by Vaduz
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