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School memorializes 9/11 with thousands of tiny U.S. flags

Michael Whitney photo

A small set of students in Lorraine Burnell’s combined class of kindergarten to 2nd grade each plant American flags on The Academy of Snohomish’s lawn during their recess Sept. 8.

Some 2,977 American flags, one for each life lost in the 9/11 attacks, covered the grass alongside Union Avenue late last week.
They were planted with meaning by students of all ages by The Academy of Snohomish next to their school.
Teenage organizers said the field of flags is meant to represent not just a numerical tally. Planting the flags recognizes that each person who died in the terrorist attacks had a family who experienced sudden grief, and a life cut short.
“We know their names (but) we don’t know all their stories,” sophomore Jayden Grant said.
Senior Morgan Denny, 17, said she can’t imagine what their family members went through.
The organizers have seen videos and reports about Sept. 11, 2001, but, like over 1 in 5 Snohomish County residents according to Census data, the attacks happened before they were born.
“Being born after 9/11, people of my generation really don’t care about stuff like this, but it’s an important event for people to recognize,” Grant, 15, said.
That morning, four commercial airliners were hijacked by terrorists, albeit the passengers inside United Airlines 93 fought back to prevent it from hitting its target. The fact they fought back “is something I’m proud of as an American,” sophomore Eric Johnson, 15, said.
Two of the four planes were deliberately crashed into each of the two tall towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The other was crashed into the Pentagon.
The little paper flags on sticks came in a box bought from the Young America’s Foundation as part of its 9/11 Never Forget program. The foundation is a national youth group for conservative ideology.
The display can symbolize that all Americans share one thing in common: A love of country, Grant said.
The academy is a private K-12 school. It’s next to Zion Lutheran Church. The events concluded with guest speakers and a lesson.



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