BIDWELL — River Valley High School students once again gathered to remember the lives of those who died in the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks, Wednesday, outside of River Valley High School.
Students in Lynn Sheets’ and Brea McClung’s classes in the past have laid shoes outside of the school in remembrance of victims with American flags tucked around them. Students were assigned to search through names of victims and research the life of a chosen individual before then presenting that person’s life to classmates.
“We call it the Empty Shoes Project,” said McClung previously. “We go outside and they pay tribute by reading their information. It’s to represent walking in another’s steps.”
“We did do something new this year,” said McClung. “We did a real-time timeline of events on the intercom this year and students read things like, at 8:46 a.m., a tower was attacked. We had soundbites throughout the day. It went well. Then, we ended the school day with (President George W.) Bush’s address to the nation…The way I describe it is that it was presidential and unifying. It didn’t have rhetoric to it. It was just that this happened and we’ll find out who did it and we were going to be strong. It’s only about four minutes long. It was needed and a healing speech.”
McClung indicated that current generations of students passing through high school were getting to the point where they were not alive for the events of September 11, 2001 and it was necessary to share the lessons and importance of the historic event with them.
News sources say that just shy of 3,000 individuals died during the World Trade Center Attacks when hijackers flew commercial planes into the WTC towers and the Pentagon with another having crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The attacks were widely considered the most deadly terrorist action in world history and the most damaging foreign assault on US soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor which sparked formal US involvement in World War II in 1941.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.