Whitemarsh Elementary honors community heroes on Patriot's Day
Students waving American flags

How do you remember the events of 9-11 with children who were born more than 10 years later? At Whitemarsh Elementary School, it means meeting at the school flagpole to sing patriotic songs, talk about being an American and celebrate local heroes -- like firefighters, police officers and ambulance personnel.

Ava, a first grader at Whitemarsh Elementary, says that a hero is "somebody who saves the day by helping people" and added that "we're going to have to respect them for all that they do for us."

The event featured the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, short speeches by first, second, and third graders, and songs like "America the Beautiful" and "Proud to Be an American." During the last part of the ceremony, students presented members of the Whitemarsh Township Police Department and Barren Hill Fire Company with handmade thank you cards and flowers. The first responders enjoyed meeting the children and being a part of the ceremony.

Students giving handmade thank you cards to first responders.

"It's nice and personal, and the kids seem to be really engaged in it," said Whitemarsh Township Police Officer Vincent Mundy. "It's small, quaint and fits this community well."

The 9-11 remembrance has a strong history at the school.

"I want the children to know about Patriot's Day in a young way," said Principal Donna Drizin. "When I first started at Whitemarsh Elementary, I had a parent who lost her brother in the Towers. I promised her as long as I was here that we would always remember 9-11, and this is how we do it."

Whitemarsh Elementary honors community heroes on Patriot's Day