DODEA Pacific remembers 9/11
Patriot Day Celebration
By: Erika, KDHS Senior
As a tribute to the heroes of 9/11 and the service of the US military, the Kadena High School choirs held an hour-long concert featuring patriotic music and speeches on Sept. 12, 2012. The 11th annual Patriot Day Celebration was directed by Tim Black and described as being “terrific, absolutely terrific” by Assistant Principal Dr. Dave Theis.
During an AFN radio interview, Black explained that the annual concert started as a way for people to cope with the tragedy of the attacks on the twin towers. Since it was hard for students to put their feelings about the catastrophe in words, they decided to express themselves by singing. The tradition has continued, and the Patriot Day Celebration has been held each year since the tragedies.
Choir students showed their dedication to the event by practicing during their own free time over the summer. Mr. Black noted that the choir only had three weeks to prepare for a concert of this size and importance.
Brigadier General Matthew Molloy, 18th Wing Commander, gave a speech to thank the servicemen and women who continue to serve their country and protect US
freedoms. The KDHS AFJROTC Color Guard also participated in the event and was complimented by General Molloy as being “the bread and butter” of America’s
“It’s my fourth year participating in this concert. It’s just, for me, a way to look back and see who the real heroes were. So many were willing to risk their own lives so that others could live,” said KDHS senior Chris Carlson.
C.T. Joy ES
Students from C.T. Joy ES read publicized excerpts from “The Children of 9/11” who lost a parent in the attacks.
Ian Read an Introduction:
On Sept. 11, 2001, about 3,051 children under age 18 lost a parent in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the crash of United Flight 93.
They are called the Children of 9/11.
Many spent that day waiting for their mothers or fathers to return home. Some were too young to understand what was happening. A few would not be born for several more months.
I am Gina DiFazio, I was 10 when my father died in the attacks. I am a legacy of 9/11. My legacy is not one of pain and sorrow but an uplifting example of the
resilience of children who endure tragedies every day and go on to live great lives.
I am Nicholas Gorki, 10.
To my dad Sebastian Gorki, who I never met because I was in my mom's belly, I love you father. I love you for the idea of having me. You gave me the gift of life. I wish you could be here to enjoy it with me.
I am Peter Negron. I was only 11 when my dad, a Port Authority Project Manager, died. I was a boy torn between grief and a desire to be there for my two-year-old brother, Austin. I've tried to teach Austin all the things my dad taught me, how to ride a bike, catch a baseball and work hard in school. I wish my dad had been there to teach me how to drive, ask a girl out on a date." "I hope I can make my dad proud of the young men my brother and I have become. I miss you so much dad.
I am Stephanie DeSimone. My father Edward worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, the financial firm with offices on the upper floors of the World Trade Center. I just want to tell you dad, Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. You will always be my best friend and my hero. I love you with all my heart and I couldn't have asked for a greater daddy than you.
Stearley Heights ES
As an extension of learning about 9/11 the second graders at Stearley Heights participated in a Patriot’s Walk. Students learned about first responders
and in appreciation to our security forces they made cards and the parents made cookies; both were delivered to the Kadena gate guards. Students waved their flags and sang “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land”.
In music class, under the direction of teacher Ms. Wendy Miller, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students at Stearley Heights learned about the impact of the attacks through music and song. The students sang American Patriotic Songs in remembrance of those who died on 9/11.
4th and 5th grade Stearley Heights students participated in a Freedom Walk in remembrance of the lives lost on 9/11, the people who responded in the aftermath, the sacrifices that our military has made and still does make, and the freedoms we enjoy. Mr. Ronald Horton and Mr. Chris Riley reminded students that “Freedom Isn’t Free.” Students created posters to commemorate this special date. Students, teachers, and parents walked to different parts of Kadena and were boosting morale as car drivers were “Honking for Freedom.”
M.C. Perry ES
Dressed in red, white, and blue, the students, staff, and families of Matthew C. Perry ES, Iwakuni observed 9/11 with a Hero Walk today. Lead by our Principal, Dr. Suzanne Landrum, students were educated through a short poem and a brief message about the observance. Students sang and danced to Oh, I Love America lead by Mr. Christopher Kimmey, MCPES Music Teacher. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Mrs. Netra Harwell, a veteran and MCPES Educational Technologist. Students then began the Hero Walk. Using the adjacent sports field, students, staff and community members walked/jogged/ran in
remembrance of those who sacrificed so much on 9/11 and those who continue to defend our freedom. Each student received hand stamps for the number
of laps completed. Class/school wide totals will be used for various math activities as well as for a school wide record to determine the number of kilometers we walked for our heroes.
The students of MC Perry ES will hopefully always remember today as well as the HEROES who made 9/11 live on in American history . . . OR . . . made today unforgettable.
Most students at Zukeran Elementary School were not yet born when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 forever changed our nation. However, educators in the Department of Defense Education Activity Okinawa District want to make sure students understand the significance of the tragedy and its continuing impact on their lives. To this end, Zukeran Elementary hosted “Meet Me at the Flag Pole,” a 9/11 remembrance ceremony for students and their families.
View the full compilation at DODEA Pacific website.