Students and teachers hold balloons at Edgewood Elementary School Wednesday morning shortly before a balloon release in observance of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. -- Jay Sowers
Students and teachers hold balloons at Edgewood Elementary School Wednesday morning shortly before a balloon release in observance of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. -- Jay Sowers

Edgewood students mark somber anniversary

Published 9:16pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

By Jay Sowers

The Selma Times-Journal

 

Twelve years after the blues skies over New York City were tarnished by the worst terrorist attack in American history, a sky of similar blue over Selma was dotted with red, white and blue balloons to remember those lost during and since that horrific day.

Students and teachers at Edgewood Elementary School launched more than four dozen balloons into the sky Wednesday in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that left thousands dead in New York, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pa.

Even though the clear majority of the students at the school were not born at the time of the attacks, it doesn’t mean they are unaware of the day’s significance.

Jamichael Goings, a third grade student at the school who was born in 2004, just finished a project about the attacks and was able to summarize the day’s events.

“Two planes hit the Twin Towers and lots of people lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001,” Goings said. “A lot of firefighters and police officers died while they were helping others.”

Goings’ third grade teacher, Ashley Ross, said she is happy the school was able to come together for the event.

“It’s important we remember 9/11 for all of those who lost their lives,” Ross said. “The students need to know the whole story about that day, as well as about the soldiers who have fought and died for us since then.”

Joe Peterson Jr., the principal at Edgewood for nine years, said the annual commemoration of such a tragic day is a way to highlight the blessings and values every American citizen has been given.

“It’s very important we know the meaning of an event like this,” Peterson said. “Mainly, to show respect for those who lost their lives, and also that the children can understand the importance to fight for the rights and freedoms that we have.”

Those gathered also held a moment of silence shortly before releasing their balloons, and they also sang “O, I Love America” and “God Bless America.”

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