Whitemarsh Elementary School thanked first responders and reflected on what it means to be a hero and patriot during the school’s annual recognition of Sept. 11 and the men and women who made sacrifices on that day in American history.

The school marked the occasion a few days early on Sept. 9 with an outdoor ceremony beneath the Whitemarsh flagpole. Students recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang the National Anthem, and observed a moment of silence. Several students from each grade were also invited to share with the crowd what they think it means to be a hero and what they appreciate about their country. 

Local first responders – including police, firefighters, and other emergency response personnel – attended to watch the event. At the end of the ceremony, students hand-delivered notes of thanks to the first responders in attendance.

Organized by music teacher Kristy Langis, the annual event is also meant as a way to encourage students to think about serving others. Because Sept. 11th is a national day of service, Mrs. Langis called upon the students to do something nice for someone else as a way to mark the day.