While students with the Young Americans for Freedom club set up 3,000 American flags on Hart High School’s front lawn on Wednesday, other kids walking by on their way to school stopped and asked to help.
“We set up 2,977 American flags, one for each life lost on 9/11 in the terrorist attacks and in the search and rescue efforts,” said Sarah Melvin, the club’s president. “Each flag is honoring those lives and reminding all the cars and pedestrians that go by to ‘Never Forget.’”
This event, led by the students in the club, is done nation-wide in order to “Never Forget” the lives lost that day.
The club was started at Hart last year, and both Melvin and Parker Jones, vice president of the club, have been a part of it since it began, joining to socialize with other students with similar beliefs.
“This kind of helps kids express their ideas and know how to respectfully and effectively voice their opinions,” Melvin said.
“Also not to be scared about being attacked for having different views than other people,” Jones added.
Neither Melvin or Jones were alive when 9/11 happened, and while they said they cannot connect as much emotionally, they still understand the significance.
“Seeing all these flags, one for each life, it kind of puts it into perspective how many people died and what a terrible event it was,” Jones said.
“It was a really tragic day … but also a day that brought Americans together to put all their political disputes aside and just focus on that we’re all Americans,” Melvin added.
Jones agreed, adding that “everyone was American before anything else. It didn’t matter if you’re Republican, Democrat, it all came second to being American.”
Both hope that the flags can remind others they’re lucky to live in America and to enjoy its freedoms.
“As Franklin D. Roosevelt said regarding the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Sept. 11 too is ‘a day which will live in infamy’ as the terrible day it was,” Melvin said. “It was a day which we were all humbled, united, a nation under God, regardless of politics. We’re all Americans that loved and needed each other.”