Students at the W.B. Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park paused Friday to honor the victims of 9/11. In an annual ceremony, students, faculty and staff dressed in red, white and blue and left their classrooms at 8:45am, carrying American flags. Ten minutes later, Principal Corbett Coutts described what happened on 9/11, reminding students of the historical importance before pausing for a two-minute moment of silence. Most middle school students were too young in 2001 to remember what happened on that day, which is one reason Coutts says he pauses to commemorate the anniversary with students every year. Genevieve Legros, an 8th grade English Language Arts teacher, sang the Star Spangled Banner. Students also heard the poem "One," written by Cheryl Sawyer just after 9/11:
As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes
We become one people.
We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.