Today I went to school even though it's Saturday. And for once I didn't have eight thousand things to carry inside.
A family from our school has been setting up about 3000 flags for 9/11 for a few years. And usually this falls on a school day, so the flags are there for school. But tomorrow, a Sunday, is the day, so we set them up today. A bunch of different people came to help out. Since this family is Mormon, a bunch of elders and sisters that they know come and drill holes in the ground to put the flags in. Kids from school come too, and other people from town came out to help too. It was a really nice day too, perfect for putting flags into the ground.
I have been doing this for four years, and this is the first year that they decided to put names on esch of the flags for the victims. I worked on putting rubber bands on all of the name tags with other people, who attached them to the flags and delivered them to people to put in the ground. I made an effort to read as many names as I could; not because I would remember all of them, but because hearing how many people died is really horrible, but actually seeing the names makes it seem more real. This actually happened. And since I was so young I don't remember exactly what I knew about what was going on (I was 7). But seeing the names, names like "Linda" and "Cheryl", "Mohammed" and "Derrick" made it seem a lot more real. These were neighbors, moms, dads, businesspeople, and Americans who all died. And other than memories from loved ones, all we have is their name. We know they were lost, and we just have their name. Before, we used to just put in the flags; one for each victim. But now each victim's name is on their own flag. A mom and her son were there attaching tags to bands and they had just moved from New York two months ago. The mom knew 5 firefighters who risked their lives that day and didn't come out alive, and she found their names in the pile of names. She started to cry.
These were people that we all knew, and they deserved to live a lot longer than they did. But all I can say is that I am proud of our school and our community for coming together and putting these flags out to remember and come together for the country. We might be a little tiny town in Georgia, far from New York and the center of the damage of 9/11, but our little town still remembers.
Sometimes when something horrible shatters our world, it's hard to see anything but a bleak and desolate future. But in the midst of all of the terror after the fact, people came together to help each other more than before, and we are a stronger people because of it. That's why people at all ends of the country remember this day, including our school and our town.