Sept. 11 on minds of many

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 12, 2003

Something came in the mail this week that Burlington Elementary School Principal Mark Christian had not expected: something from the White House.

The plain manila envelope contained a copy of the proclamation President George W. Bush signed last year, officially proclaiming Sept. 11 as Patriot's Day. It also contained a signed photograph of the president.

Although some were too young to truly verbalize what they felt, the terrorist attacks two years ago were very much on the minds of the Burlington students, many of whom dressed in red, white and blue Thursday in honor of Patriot's Day.

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First-graders Tanner and Tyler Mathes not only sported red and blue shirts, they each had temporary tattoos of the Statue of Liberty and the American flag on their cheeks.

Third-grader Holly Hall wore a short with a patriotic star in the middle of it "because the twin towers got knocked down," she said. "We're wearing red, white and blue to be nice and to remember."

Fifth grader Lisa Fulks said she remembered watching the events of Sept. 11 on television, and although students don't usually talk much about it anymore, they are today.

Fifth grader Kayla Sturgill's mom, Terri Sturgill, made her a red, white and blue ribbon with a yellow ribbon in the middle of it to wear today.

"I think of the people who died," Sturgill said when asked what she remembered about Sept. 11, 2001. "And the plane crash."

Christian said several classrooms had patriotic activities.

Lawrence County's Bicentennial Bell was rung at 8:46 a.m. Thursday morning, in commemoration of the time the first plane hit the first tower of the World Trade Center. In opening the Thursday session of the Lawrence County Commission, Commission President George Patterson said memories of Sept. 11 were on the minds of many, and asked that people remember in their prayers.

Commissioner Jason Stephens said he had a special appreciation for firefighters, police officers and others who serve their communities in the homeland security arena, noting that some of the first firefighters who rushed to the scene of the twin towers to help others became victims themselves.

"I think it's important to remember them and all of our soldiers who are overseas taking the battle to the terrorists," Stephens said.