On Friday, like many other schools and organizations across the nation, Assets took a moment to remember the tragic events that occurred fourteen years ago on September 11th.
Mrs. Valenti and Ms. Warunek’s middle school students (Class 65) have been engaged the past two weeks in an inquiry-based lesson about September 11th, which they shared with us all at our all-school assembly. Class 65’s was also given the difficult task of presenting their learning in a manner that was age-appropriate for our youngest students. The result was a poignant moment for our community. Once again, our students modeled scholarship, dedication and compassion.
Class 65 had been folding origami cranes for days, and spent hours installing their art on our assembly stage. In addition to their 1,000 cranes, the student made special golden cranes as gifts of peace, goodwill and community. These golden cranes were presented to a representative of each classroom at assembly. The wings of these cranes were left straight so each class could decide how to display them.
Adding to the moment was the fact that as soon as we were about to begin assembly, the skies opened up and it began pouring rain. Mahalo to the faculty and parents who stayed behind after assembly and formed a human line of adjoining umbrellas so that our students could return to class as dry as possible!
With Class 65 student permission, I’m sharing their 9/11 assembly script with you below. May it inspire in you the same degree of reflection and hope that it did in me. While these are the student’s words and message, we thank Mrs. Valenti and Ms. Warunek for their stellar job as editors. If you are looking for support on how to speak with your child about 9/11, I found this article from the Child Mind Institute to be a helpful resource.
September 11, A Day Like No Other
Good morning everyone. Class 65 would like to present our 9/11 Memorial Exhibit of 1,000 paper cranes on the wall behind us. 9/11 is a significant day in American and world history – a day that defined America as we know it today. On September 11, 2001 – 14 years ago, before most of us were born – our country lost thousands of innocent men, women, and children. How we remember that day shows America’s resilient spirit, unity, and strength.
You may be wondering, “Why 1,000 cranes?” According to Japanese legend, folding a paper crane and making a wish ensures your wish will come true. Our class read the story of Sadako, a young Japanese girl who became very sick after World War II. She decided to make 1,000 paper cranes and wish for good health. Sadly, she never made it to 1,000. After she passed, her classmates finished making the rest in her honor. Since then, Sadako’s 1,000 cranes have become a symbol of world peace.
After 9/11, American citizens united and displayed extraordinary dedication and courage. As a gesture of support and peace, Japanese school children folded 1,000 paper cranes and sent them to New York City. The cranes were hung in a restaurant that gave free meals to the many dedicated people who helped during that difficult time. When the 9/11 Memorial Museum was built at the site of the former World Trade Center, the cranes were displayed for the world to share.
Today we share our 1,000 paper cranes with you in honor of the thousands of men, women, and children involved in 9/11, and the thousands of service members who have dedicated their lives to protecting our safety and freedom. After 9/11, American citizens worked together to overcome challenges and uncertainty and to become stronger than before. We hope our memorial inspires you to face your own challenges with courage, whether it’s reading, math, or something else in your life.
Like our diverse community at Assets, our cranes have different shapes, sizes, colors, and characteristics. Together the 1,000 cranes are united as one beautiful display. We hope this inspires you to accept and respect the differences between all of us. Please do something today to make someone else smile, laugh, or feel supported and cared about. You have the power to make our Assets community stronger for all of us.
As a gesture of peace, goodwill, and unity, we’d like to give every class their own golden crane. We’ve left the wings straight for you to decide what shape you want them to be. As we call your class, please send one representative up to get your golden crane.
(CALL CLASSES UP AND HAND OUT CRANES)
We’re excited to share our 9/11 Memorial with you. Thank you for being such as wonderful audience. Have a great day!