Students at Athlos Leadership Academy in Brownville, Texas honored local first responders at a special September 11th remembrance ceremony earlier this month. The school-wide assembly was part of Athlos’ performance character curriculum.
Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez spoke to students about the events that occurred on September 11, 2001 and his reaction when he first learned of the attack. School leaders pointed out to students the different performance character traits that first responders, such as those involved on September 11th, exhibit: courage, integrity, grit, and leadership. The sixth-grade student body then sang the national anthem, and students presented local first responders with donated water bottles and drawstring bags as tokens of appreciation.
Afterwards, students were asked to reflect in writing on what they learned during the ceremony and the reactions they felt upon learning of the terrorist attacks:
“I felt proud to be an American… Seeing the first responders sitting on the stage made me feel safe to live in the United States of America.”
“I felt sad because all the people who passed away and all the firefighters and police officers who went into the twin towers and risk their lives for us. I also felt sad when the people in the twin towers had to make phone calls home that they might not make it… What cheered me up at my presentation was when our mayor Tony Martinez got to come to school and got to talk to us. I was also excited when they told us about something that had survived in the twin tower attack it wasn’t just people it was this amazing tree they called it the surviving tree. In the fall the leaves were different they were green. When I found out about all this stuff in our presentation it touched my heart in many other ways.”
“When I learned that the hyjackers [sic] drove the airplane straight into the twin towers, in my mind I asked them, ‘What have we ever done to deserve this ambush.’ Many Americans died because of beliefs and religion. One simple thing can turn from a small conflict to catastrophic problems. It makes me sad because many children did not have moms or dads to play or support them… We will never know what we have done to deserve this but on 9/11 is the day we honor the courageous fire fighters, police, and citizens.”
“I was happy that we have the police and firefighters that are there. Knowing that we are safe that is what makes me so happy.”
“I felt so melancholy during the ceremony [sic], but at the same time I felt glad that some of the people survived and blue [sic] too because some people died.”
Athlos schools hold multiple performance character community events throughout the year. These events are part of a larger curriculum that helps develop the whole child and contribute to a positive school culture.
For more information on Athlos Leadership Academy’s September 11th remembrance ceremony, check out coverage by The Brownsville Herald.