It was a day of remembrance for many Americans who paused Wednesday to observe the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A student rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the high school gym is how one special 9/11 ceremony opened.
West County middle and high school staff and students gathered to remember the victims of the tragedy that struck the U.S. 18 years ago.
Director Ryan Hassell led middle and high school choir students in singing the national anthem.
After their performance, WCMS Principal Adam Hector read a tribute. WCHS Senior Hannah Myers led the audience in a moment of silence and prayer.
Afterward, Hassell showed a video about the events of 9/11.
Teacher Tiffany Bungenstock welcomed members of the Desloge VFW and Auxiliary, and asked Shirley Brinkley to speak to the crowd.
Brinkley introduced the members of the VFW and Auxiliary who attended the ceremony. VFW member Dennis Sweet shared stories about his military service.
Brinkley told the crowd about the many programs that are sponsored by the VFW and Auxiliary for students and the community. She told about scholarship opportunities and speech, essay, singing and art contests.
Afterward, Sweet read a story from the flag’s perspective.
VFW Auxiliary members Debbie Sansoucie and Edie Burris demonstrated the proper 13-step folding technique for the American flag.
Once the flag was neatly folded, WC Director Darren Cordray led the high school band students in playing “Each Time You Tell Their Story” by Samuel Hazo.
While the band played, WCHS 11th-grader Megan Perkins read a poem she wrote about 9/11 :
Every battle has a story.
Each life lost has a chapter,
But no one person’s life is worth glory.
There is no real victory in war.
Not with the price being so high,
Not with death taking more and more.
But still we enter fights
Because we are American,
And we deserve certain unalienable rights.
On September eleventh, two-thousand and one,
A heinous attack was made.
It caused damage that can never be undone,
And created pain that will never fully fade.
At 8:45 a.m. a plane caused devastation.
An act of terrorism had been committed,
In our very own home.
It shook our nation.
At 9:59 a.m. the first tower fell,
And along with it our hearts.
We asked ourselves,
What kind of person would put others through this kind of Hell?
And later, after the travesty,
After all the death and destruction,
We fought through the ash and dust to see.
What we saw were our own heroes,
The brave men and women who risked everything,
Just to save a fellow American.
With a heavy heart and bloodied hand,
We sifted through the chaos.
And together we made a stand.
We didn’t fall with our towers!
Instead, we rose above the pain.
We used all of our resources,
All of our powers.
And although this day left a scar,
We are still strong and united.
We’ve come so very far.
No other nation can leave us blighted!