Grosse Pointe North students honor Sept. 11 victims

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 11, 2014

 Grosse Pointe North Young Americans for Freedom Chair Trent Williams plants flags on Sept. 11 in honor of each person who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Grosse Pointe North Young Americans for Freedom Chair Trent Williams plants flags on Sept. 11 in honor of each person who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Photo by April Lehmbeck

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Grosse Pointe North High School senior Courtney Lamparski was only 4 years old when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks took place, but it’s something she’ll never forget.

“It’s impacted me a lot,” she said, adding that it’s impacted “our whole country.”

Lamparski was just one of many students who took time out of her day Sept. 11 to plant flags in the entryway of the high school.

The Grosse Pointe North Chapter of Young Americans for Freedom took part in a nationwide effort called the “9/11: Never Forget Project.” The project calls for planting a flag for each person who died as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks — 2,977 American flags.

While some history classes came out throughout the morning to plant flags, and some of the members of the GPN YAF stepped up to spend hours in front of the school, GPN YAF Chair and junior Trent Williams led the way, vowing to be out there from the first flag until the last flag broke soil.

“I’ve been out here since 6:30,” Williams said later that morning.

Williams said he had been planning for the last four to five weeks for the event. 

Williams emphasized the importance of remembering those who died on that day.

“On this day, 9/11, we are not allowed to forget because it is the cause of many nightmares and grief brought upon by this unprovoked, brutal mass murder of 2,977 innocent lives,” Williams said in a news release. “Families were torn apart. We lost Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Spouses, and children. 

“This memorial is dedicated to all those families who lost someone important on this day and for all those families who have lost servicemen and women after 9/11 in the fight against terrorism across the world,” he said in the release.

While planting the flags, he said that remembering is important because “if you don’t remember our history, you are bound to repeat it.”

His thoughts also were for those lives touched by tragedy that day.

“By remembering the 2,977 victims of this attack, I believe (it) brings some closure to the families, friends, loved ones (and) children who were affected by this atrocity,” he said.

When the thought of quitting crossed his mind during the chilly morning, he would strengthen his resolve to see the project through.

“I just get annoyed at myself and say, ‘I want to get this done,’” Williams said.

By mid-morning, Williams said seven of the history classes had come out so that each student in those classes could plant a flag.

Lamparski noted that the seniors now are probably the only ones left in the district who can actually remember the day.

“9/11 was a tragedy,” she said. “It’s nice to have a memorial for this.”

Senior Barbara Fama, who also dedicated part of her day to get the flags planted, said it sends a positive message about young people to the community.

“We do care about our country,” she said.

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