By MC2 (SW) Justin A. Johndro
CHIMACUM, Wash. — As the nation marks the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Puget Sound area schools are taking the time to remember those lost as well as those who continue to serve in emergency and military services.
Chimacum School honored police, military, firefighters and emergency medical workers during a Patriot Day ceremony that included guest speaker Cmdr. Michael Yesunas, commanding officer of Naval Magazine Indian Island, singing of the National Anthem by the school’s music teacher, Laura Lorentzen and the Pledge of Allegiance. Afterward, the members in uniform split up and answered any questions students had in their respective classrooms.
Elementary Principal Cassandra (Sam) Rosenbloom said one of the things she thinks about when it comes to the Sept. 11 attacks and teaching it to children today is something a long time educator Fred Rogers (better known as Mr. Rogers) learned from his mother.
“In an emergency or in a disaster, look for the helpers,” Rosenbloom recited. “I want our kids to recognize who the helpers are and to be able to go to them when they need help.”
There were more than 20 men and women in uniform for the ceremony and the one thing that will always stick out more than anything is that everyone can be a hero.
“Each of us can be heroes,” said Yesunas to a group of more than 150 students and faculty. “A hero doesn’t mean you have to be out there fighting on the frontlines, but instead being kind and listening to your teachers, parents and doing your homework, and being a good citizen.”
During the classroom visits, students and faculty had many questions for service members ranging from what kind of jobs the Navy provides and what it’s like putting on the uniform every day to how it’s different than a civilian occupation.
Most of the children attending the ceremony were born well after the attacks that took place 13 years ago, but that will not stop the education process of those events.
“It’s imperative that we don’t forget what happened on 9/11,” said Yesunas. “The children today don’t understand the attacks on 9/11, so it’s up to us to make sure they understand the lessons that our Nation learned and that they continue to carry on the memory of that day.”