Although they were not yet 10 years old on Sept. 11, 2001, students at Columbia Independent School still recognize the importance of remembering and honoring the victims.
“September 11 is such a poignant memory," said Matthew Monos, a junior and member of the school’s National Honor Society. "The attacks have always meant a lot to me."
On Thursday afternoon, he and fellow honor society members will lay 2,977 flags on campus grounds, one for each 9/11 victim. There will also be a schoolwide moment of silence on Friday morning.
Matthew discovered the "9/11: Never Forget Project" when he attended the National High School Leadership Conference this past summer in Washington, D.C.
The project was started in 2003 by Young America’s Foundation to remind students across the country to properly remember the terrorist attacks.
Matthew said he decided to bring the project to his school to promote activism and the concept of never forgetting the day.
After approval from the head of the school, Matthew went to his fellow honor society members. President Lea Selby, Vice President Nicole Neville and Treasurer Jacob Tarrant all joined the effort.
Students then began raising money to buy the flags to honor each victim. They set up a booth to raise money before and after school.
This, coupled with a bake sale, word-of-mouth and a few phone calls to local organizations, gave them enough money to nearly cover the cost of the flags — 50 cents each.
They did not stop there. Students are also working on raising money for the Gear Up Foundation, which supports firefighters involved in the rescue efforts after the attacks.
*Scott Henderson, teacher and head sponsor of the honor society, said he didn’t think twice about supporting this project.
“I’m so impressed by them," he said. "They have it all figured out.”