Freshmen at had not started kindergarten when terrorists hijacked and crashed four planes in New York, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, PA, on , killing nearly 3,000 people. And students who are now seniors had just started second grade.
Dr. Robert Handy wanted to make sure they, and their peers who come after, remember those who died in the attacks. The social studies teacher gathered artifacts, newspaper clippings and original student creations since the attacks, all now part of a memorial display in the school's main lobby.
"It is important ... for both present and future students, and for our community, to provide a local memorial that will personalize the losses and sacrifices made on this crucial date in America's history," Handy said in a statement.
At the center of the display is a steel beam from the World Trade Center wreckage 10 years ago. The for its entry in the 2003 World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
Spearheading the student effort has been senior Christina McIntyre. The Student Government Association president , and plans to do the same this year. (The flag planting was postponed to Tuesday due to inclement weather.)
"It’s getting to the point that as the students who attend Bel Air High School are younger and younger," McIntyre said. "They don’t have memories of what happened on 9/11 and it’s really important to preserve this."
The lobby display will be open to the public from 1–4 p.m. Sept. 17 during an open house for the memorial.
"It really calls us to reflect on: what is our nation? What is America?" McIntyre said. "And remember America and preserve those values that we hold so dear."