Columbia Independent School adds 2,977 flags to its lawn in honor of 9/11 victims

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 | 2:46 p.m. CDT; updated 4:34 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 11, 2012
To mark the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, students at the Columbia Independent School placed a flag on the school's lawn for each of the 2,977 people killed in the attacks.

COLUMBIA — The average high school senior is 17 or 18 years old. This means Columbia Independent School seniors were 6 or 7 on Sept. 11, 2001. Students said they have memories of the attacks, but not many.

"I remember seeing my mom crying that day," senior Matthew Monos, 17, said.


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"I remember my parents telling me about it," sophomore Rachel Briner, 15, said.

Even though students at the school might not remember much about Sept. 11, they're still doing their part to make sure victims are honored.

Members of the National Honor Society at Columbia Independent planted 2,977 American flags onto the east lawn of their school Tuesday morning. Each flag represented a victim of the terrorist attacks.

There didn't seem to be an end to the students' work as more and more flags were brought out of the school to be placed on the ground. Monos said that seeing the flags put the loss of 9/11 into perspective.

"If you say 2,977, it's just a statistic," Monos said.

The National Honor Society is also accepting donations to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund through Wednesday. Families of Freedom awards scholarships to students who have one or more family member who was killed or injured in the attacks and rescue efforts.

Within one week of Sept. 11, the program was up and running. As of the 2011-2012 academic year, Families of Freedom had raised $75.6 million in scholarship funds.

Briner said she thought Families of Freedom was a beneficial cause for families of victims.

"To have people care about you in this way is really helpful," she said.

Monos said he found out about Families of Freedom when he was looking for a 9/11 charity. He said it seemed like a great cause and brought it to the attention of his fellow National Honor Society members.

Society sponsor Scott Henderson said anyone who sees the flags and wants to know more is welcome to come into the school to get additional information. There is a booth in the school, 1801 N. Stadium Blvd., that is accepting donations before and after school hours, which are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Henderson said the flags were a visible way to commemorate victims and remember a significant event in history.

"Everyone remembers in one way or another," he said.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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