When members of the Dallas High School Student Leadership and Civics Club realized that many students in grades nine through 12 have no memory of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, they focused their Patriot Day Commemoration Program not only on respect and mourning, but on education.
"We're at the age group now where not everyone knows what 9/11 is," club president Marcus Wagner said of the program held Tuesday in the Dallas High School auditorium. Wagner, now a senior, told his personal recollection of not understanding what was happening but knowing something was wrong.
Principal Jeffrey Shaffer opened the event, stating "Our seniors were in first grade, our juniors were in kindergarten and the rest of our student body hadn't even started school yet." Shaffer went on to share a personal story of the loss of a friend and explained to the students the importance of remembering the events of 9/11.
All members of the Student Leadership and Civics Club and Boy Scout Troop 281 participated in the event. Speeches were made by Wagner, vice president Blake Donovan, secretary Nora Tidey, treasurer Rebecca Schnable and members Rudy Georgetti and Skyler Velazco.
The National Anthem was sung by Civics Club member Rebecca Darling. Students Patrick Newhart and Kristian Dyrli performed "Gone Without Goodbye" written by Brian Littrell.
The program included a video montage, created by members of the Civics club that presented a timeline of events of that day depicting the terroristic strikes against the Pentagon and the Twin Towers in New York City, as well as the fate of Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. There were also explanations of the short and long-term effects of the tragedy, a detailed description of the memorials at Ground Zero and examples of how people around the country have handled the grief process.
"My piece is focused on why we remember," said Donovan, whose speech closed the presentation. "The biggest part of remembering is understanding."