Provided by Prince William County Schools
For the past 10 years, staff and eighth grade students from Saunders Middle School have lined Spriggs Road in front of the school with American flags in remembrance of 9/11. Typically, this is coordinated with all eighth grade classes and teachers. Each class reads a statement of remembrance and has a moment of silence.
This year, with most students learning virtually, a few staff members continued the tradition. Matt Eline, principal of Saunders Middle, along with Assistant Principal Steve Webb and eighth grade Language Arts Teacher Kenneth Harkins, accompanied by his son Henry, a kindergartener at Rosa Parks Elementary School, displayed the flags and continued with the ceremony and moment of silence.
Every eighth grade language arts teacher at Saunders talked about the significance of that day with their classes. Many other classes included 9/11 into their lesson for the day. Saunders’s library keeps the memory alive through literature. They provided a list of books about the events of 9/11 and the days that followed for the students to read.
For Saunders, this yearly remembrance is about spreading positivity despite everything else. The focus is not just on 9/11, but how everyone banded together. That is the message the school staff would like to share as much as the history. The flags are just one way to bring a little bit of love to the community.
Harkins said, “One year, we noticed a woman crying across the street as we did this … She had friends who died on 9/11 … [S]he was so thankful every year for us to do the ceremony. It’s important to me that we keep doing this every year, if it’s only just for her to know we care.”
Let us never forget.