CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of students from UNO Charter Schools rallied outside their classrooms Friday to honor the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, at the Veterans Memorial Campus, 4248 W. 47th St., exactly at 9:11 a.m. Friday, about 1,000 students in grades K-12 walked around the school waving flags.
Many of the children were not even born 10 years ago, but still wanted to remember Sept. 11, 2001, because so many lives were lost.
“Rest in peace for all those who died,” the students said in unison.
Several high schoolers read poems out loud, as their classmates waved flags and held onto the names of the victims who died on 9/11, which were written on small strips of paper.
“I’m really sad what happened, and I think I do remember most things, because that day, my parents were watching it all on TV, and I was really scared to see it,” said 8th grader Verenice Espinoza.
But some of the children who attend the school would not be born for years to come at the time of 9/11. Still, all of them participated.
“I think it’s important for them to understand that our country came together, you know, this really, as horrifying as it was, it was a bonding experience for all the people,” said academic interventionist Cathryn Martos.
Chicago firefighters were also on hand, watching silently in the back. Some personally knew firefighters in New York who died trying to save lives.
“The children that weren’t even born at that time will remember exactly what happened, so it’s a proud moment as we watch them put the names up of, in some cases, people that we knew,” said Fire District 4 Deputy Chief Ken Wojtecki.
Wojtecki said four of his friends, all firefighters, died on 9/11. He says even as the years go by, it doesn’t get easier.