At the beginning of this week Cooper’s teacher sent home a note with his homework assignments. She explained that they were going to be spending time this week talking about 9/11 and although none of the first graders were alive in 2001, they were going to study the day as an important day in history and focus on the hope and positive aspects that came from the event. They read various books about the World Trade Center (did you know someone once tight-rope walked across a wire between the two buildings?!) and talked a little about heroes. One of Coop’s assignments was to write about one of his heroes. This was a hard concept to define as he didn’t want to write about someone who wasn’t alive anymore, or someone fictional and although he is related to many great men, there wasn’t one that stood out to him as a “hero.” He finally told me he’d take care of it on his own, after I’d suggested many options, and I let him. He settled on his dad and did a great job.
This morning there was a special flag ceremony at school. Seneca, Beckham and I stayed to participate when we took Cooper to school. The entire student body was dressed in red, white or blue and gathered in the courtyard around the flag pole. We learned that the flag that flies at Zaharis was sent to the students from members of the military that the students had been writing to for three years. The servicemen flew it over an airbase in Afghanistan and then sent it to Zaharis. There were a few trumpet solos that were amazing and a few students read essays they had written about 9/11. I was impressed with the reverence of the students as they listened to the program. Boy scouts handed raising, the lowering, the flag with smart salutes. I’m grateful that this day is being celebrated and that it has been the focus at school this week. I’m grateful for all the good that came out of a massive tragedy. The patriotism, the sense of community, the awareness of everyday heroes.
After the attack in 2001, the newspaper came with a full-page picture (below). We had it hanging on the door to our garage for a long time. I’m grateful we have not forgotten.