9/11 memorial finds new home at school

By Brian Knox | Published Thursday, September 15, 2011
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DEDICATION - Master Gunnery Sgt., and teacher at Leonard Middle School in Fort Worth, Jon McCracken addresses students and staff at Monday's dedication of Decatur High School's memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The two trees represent the twin towers. Messenger photo by Brian Knox

Ten years and one day after the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center were destroyed, Decatur High School paid tribute to those who died with new life.

Two Italian cypress trees now stand between a marble monument dedicated to those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The tall, slender trees represent the two towers.

On Monday, students and faculty gathered in front of the school’s library around the memorial, which was originally given by the student council class of 2003-2004 when the school was in the building now used by McCarroll Middle School. The memorial had not been replaced since the school moved into its new building in 2006.

Decatur police and firemen were also invited to the dedication ceremony. Master Gunnery Sgt. Jon McCracken with the U.S. Marine Corps, and Decatur resident, was the guest speaker for the event, and he spoke about the attacks and the sacrifices made by our military since that day.

Decatur High School Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) paid for the trees, and ag teacher Jim Allsup picked up the trees, planted them and set the monument.

SADD also created T-shirts to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The front of the shirts say, “DECATUR EAGLES remember 9/11” and the backs say, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET.” Proceeds from the sales of the shirts will be donated to the school’s band program. The theme of this year’s halftime show is “Heroes,” and the theme of homecoming week is honoring “hometown heroes.” DHS will honor first responders, including firefighters, law enforcement personnel and emergency medical technicians/paramedics, and military personnel at halftime of Friday’s homecoming game. Honorees will be admitted free to the game by showing a valid ID.

At the conclusion of Monday’s ceremony, the students filed by Sgt. McCracken and the police and firefighters in attendance and thanked them for their service.

One Response to “9/11 memorial finds new home at school”

  1. says:

    With all due respect to the “First Responders,” I have to highly disagree with the term “First.” On 9/11, American and United flight attendants were the very FIRST “FIRST” responders. On this 10th anniversary, no one ever mentions the flight crews, specifically the flight attendants. The flight attendants were the FIRST people who came into contact with the terrorists on that day, even before the pilots. They were the FIRST people to be killed on that day, as the terrorists were making their way to the cockpit. The flight attendants were the FIRST people to try to stop these terrorists. Yet they are never mentioned. It’s very sad how people forget. Flight attendants gave their lives before any so called “First Responder” even knew what was going on. Flight attendants had already gone through a horrifying, death resulting experience that day before any “First Responder.” So all I ask is that you please use the term “first” cautiously. I write this because I am a flight attendant, and as I was reading this article, I found it extremely disconcerting that Decatur High School will not have any real “First Responders” or “Heroes” (airline representatives) at the football game. Just my view. Does anyone disagree?


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