Patriot Day ceremony remembers Sept. 11 attacks

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published September 16, 2019

 Jefferson Elementary School third graders Emanuel Rayis and Eibron Yousif recite the Pledge of Allegiance on Patriot Day, which marked the 18-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Jefferson Elementary School third graders Emanuel Rayis and Eibron Yousif recite the Pledge of Allegiance on Patriot Day, which marked the 18-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Advertisement

STERLING HEIGHTS/WARREN — It’s a painful day every year for Americans who remember exactly where they were when the country was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

Approximately 3,000 people were killed when two hijacked airplanes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and another hijacked aircraft hit the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. More lives were lost when a fourth plane — believed to have been taken back from the hijackers by passengers — crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Although the students who attend Jefferson Elementary School in Warren Consolidated Schools weren’t born yet, Principal Keith Karpinski still wants them to understand the importance of remembering the tragic event.

On Sept. 11, also known as Patriot Day, Karpinski, students and staff gathered around the school’s flagpole to reflect on the 18-year anniversary of one of America’s darkest days. The flag flew at half-staff in honor of those who died.

“Students, you weren’t even born yet, but it is important to remember that day. I think it’s important for us to recognize those that dared to be great,” said Karpinski. He added that Americans were “shocked” and “horrified” at the events of 18 years ago. “Our time together is sacred.”

During the brief ceremony, Karpinski also shared details about the American flag. He talked about the 13 stripes of the flag and what the red, white and blue colors represent.

“The red is hardiness and valor; the white is for purity and innocence; and the blue is for vigilance, perseverance and justice,” Karpinski said. “(The flag) is a symbol of freedom where she waves. United, that means we all have come together.”

Before returning to class, all at the ceremony placed their hands over their hearts and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. After the ceremony, fifth graders Naim Jeuseppi Haisha and Renad Bahnam shared their thoughts about Sept. 11, 2001.

“It makes me feel sad innocent people lost their lives for no reason,” Haisha said “This wasn’t right.”

“A lot of innocent people died; even firefighters who tried to rescue the innocent people also died,” Bahnam said. “It wasn’t fair. On this day, I remember the twin towers. I feel bad for people who died.”

Bahnam was born in Iraq and moved to the U.S. when she was about 5. She remembers a shop in her hometown in which a bomb detonated. She said she likes living in the U.S., as does Haisha.

“I hear about stuff that happens in other countries,” Haisha said. “There is a lot more freedom (here).”

Advertisement