Students at Culver Elementary School in Niles paid tribute to first responders during a student-led ceremony commemorating the attacks on September 11, 2001.
The school community honored village employees and members of the local police and fire departments. Students and staff recited the Pledge of Allegiance, introduced the first responders, and sang the National Anthem.
“The Assembly was an important learning opportunity for our student body,” said Superintendent John Kosirog. “All of the students at Culver were born after the tragic events of that day. It is important for our students to learn about the attacks and develop a deeper appreciation of the sacrifice and dedication of those directly impacted.” Students at the school learn about 9/11 during social studies classes.
The themes of the Assembly were struggle, unity, and courage. Several students spent hours preparing heartfelt messages to deliver at the ceremony.
Culver student Lena Schultz spoke about how the courage of the first responders continues to inspire young people today. “The struggles we as a country faced during 9/11 epitomized what it means to be an American. We came together as one.”
Eighth grader Emma Schieffer spoke on how the attacks brought Americans together for a common purpose. She said, “After 9/11, American citizens were randomly kind to one another. The kindness showed unity of its citizens.”
Culver Principal Erica Smolinski explained to the students how our local first responders represent the bravery exhibited by the 9/11 police and fire officers, many of whom lost their lives, and others of whom still suffer today from what they endured. She expressed gratitude for these officers, who are willing to risk their lives to protect our school community.
According to Culver Student Riley Gordon, “9/11 should not only be remembered for our losses, but for the countless acts of courage the American people demonstrated that day.”