Fifteen years after three hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, three thousand paper bags surrounded the Windsor Town Green, mourning, glowing. As darkness falls upon the mourning crowd with the dusk, the glowing sticks inside the paperbags joined to form a yellow river of starlight, illuminated three thousand names that remind the loss of innocent lives on the day of September 11, 2001.
This past weekend, resilience and strength of the human spirit prevailed when residents of Windsor and Loomis students gathered to commemorate the tragedy that transpired 15 years ago. Numerous Pelicans walked to town and attended the ceremony to pay respect to those who were killed on the day of 9/11 and show support to friends who had lost someone close. Mr. Fred Kuo, Loomis’s Director of Experiential Learning, was invited to share his father’s story with the community during the ceremony. This valuable ceremony brought its benefits by expressing events that most of the students only heard about and never truly experienced. “The ceremony truly opened my eyes because it’s different just hearing the number of people who passed away, as opposed to actually seeing physical representation of the people who lost their lives,” said Amaiya Parker ’18. Despite the fact that close to none of the current Loomis students can remember what actually transpired that day, there are Pelicans who still grieve over a personal loss they suffered in those attacks. It is crucial that we all lend our support to help those who still grieve.
Regardless of age and experience, residents of Windsor poured out their support to commemorate all who were lost that day — the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to help others, the ordinary people caught in the attack — to those who still mourn their loved ones today. As junior Ayana Kelly said, “Students from elementary to high schools decorated a bag in homage to the people who died, and I thought that was very kind considering how long ago it happened. Kids who are young enough to not have even been born during the time happened still learn about [9/11] and respect the fallen.” However, to many, this shared unity should not just last for one day. Reflecting on the heartfelt speech that he delivered during the ceremony and elucidating the message that he tried to impart, Mr. Kuo said, “When you look at men and women for others, when you look at ‘common good’ and when you look at [one’s] ‘best self,’ they are really the same thing. So I’m hoping that our students took away that connection. [Coming together] is something we need to be doing every day, not just when Orlando happens, when the Brussels happens, or when 9/11 happens, or Sandy Hook.”
Bigotry, hatred, and vengeance were pushed away in this ceremony and countered with love and forgiveness. “[The ceremony] is not about getting angry at what the guilty have done; it’s about remembering people who have lost their lives because of these horrible events, said junior Timothy Ryan-Liss. In remembrance of 9/11, our collective memory is passed on, but our vision of community and resilience lives on.