By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
None of them were born when 9/11 occurred, but the students of Stadium Elementary School clutched American flags and participated in a tree dedication ceremony honoring the victims of the event.
The annual event offered every Sept. 11, included a variety of speakers.
The students sang patriotic songs and the Boardman High School band provided music.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, who are students at the school, presented the flag for the Pledge of Allegiance. The band played Taps which was followed by a moment of silence.
“Twelve years ago on Sept. 11, 2001, there was a horrible tragedy that affected our country,” principal Jim Goske told the students. “On that day a lot of people lost their lives. But, on that day, there were also hundreds of heroes who saved thousands of people’s lives. Those heroes weren’t any guys who played in the NFL, they weren’t any guys who played major league baseball. Those heroes weren’t any girls who were in music videos, weren’t any of your favorite singers, or people in movies or on TV shows. Those heroes were police officers and paramedics and firefighters.”
Goske introduced local heroes from the Boardman police, fire and road departments, as well as the township trustees in attendance.
“These firefighters and police officers who are here with us today work hard every single day to help keep all of you and your families safe,” he said. “Many of them risk their lives as part of their jobs to help save other people’s lives. We appreciate all that they do for us.”
Frank Lazzeri, district superintendent, talked to the students about what they can do to be good helpers.
“You, too, can be great helpers,” he said. “Today is referred to as Patriot Day. It’s a national holiday. And you can do your part, as a lot of Americans are going to do today, by volunteering and being a helper yourself. So I went everybody today to be a helper in your own special way. Be a helper to your teacher. Be a helper to your mom, your dad.”
Following the ceremony, the participants placed flags along the edge of the school property.