As the eight o’clock bell chimed at Stuttgart High School, students and faculty gathered around the flagpole to participate in a commemoration ceremony on the seventeenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Principal Rick Renninger began the ceremony with a compelling speech, encouraging the 800 young adults to “reflect on the thousands of Americans we lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and how these events changed our world.” Also, he urged for the “honoring of the selfless Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, firefighters, law enforcement personnel and first responders who have paid the ultimate price to protect us, our freedom, and our way of life.”
After his remarks, the flag was lowered to half-staff by retired Lt. Col. Norm Matzke and retired Lt. Col. Phil Carson. A moment of silence followed as the Stars and Stripes rippled against the notably azure sky. To close the ceremony, Assistant Principal Tessa Moss-Beaman sang a rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner that exhibited enthusiasm and patriotism.
This remembrance ceremony marked the first time in SHS history in which there was an official designated observance for the attacks. “The administration was brainstorming ideas that not only bring the school together, but are also meaningful and purposeful,” tells Moss-Beaman.
It is important to consider that the majority of students at SHS weren’t alive during the attacks. If a tradition of remembrance endures at SHS, it will symbolize the earnest efforts that Americans make every year to not forget that fateful day.
Editor’s Note: Evonna Moody is a senior at Stuttgart High School and is a part of the Career Practicum program. She is interested in international relations and journalism.