CLARKSVILLE — It was a day of education and reflection that began as third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from Clinton-Massie Elementary School took to the turf at Frank Irelan Field Friday morning — to pay tribute to their country by becoming part of the stars and stripes of a human American flag.
Pausing to commemorate Patriot Day allowed Massie Scholars to understand, respect and honor the National Day of Service and Remembrance for the lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
To recognize and honor the memory of those who have fallen, various activities took place throughout the district.
Invited to participate in the day’s events was an American patriot, retired Marine Corps veteran, Clinton-Massie alumnus and former Massie principal Greg Grove, who met with students throughout the district speaking on behalf of those who have served.
“I am honored to represent the many men and women who have proudly served in our nation’s Armed Forces,” said Grove. “In order to honor these men and women and the critical mission that our all-volunteer services provides our country, as well as remember someone dear to you, Clinton-Massie has declared today, ‘Patriot’s Day.’”
Grove went on to share with students that, “Fifteen years ago, perhaps before many of you were even born, on September 11, 2001, often referred to as ‘9/11,’ the United States of America was attacked by terrorists. A dark day in America’s 240-year history, these attacks killed 2,996 people and injured more than 6,000 others.”
Massie Scholars later joined Grove in a moment of silence to remember the lives of those lost on September 11th and to also remember those lost in the lives of students. Grove concluded by thanking Clinton-Massie for always showing appropriate respect to the military forces and for thanking those men and women for their service to this great nation.
Among the day’s memorial activities were middle and high school students joining together to create a “9/11 Memorial” display made entirely out of Post-It notes bearing the names of anyone whom they have lost and would like to remember. Each student was afforded the opportunity to write the name of a friend, family member or loved one that is no longer with them but whose treasured memory remains in their heart and mind today. Students at the elementary school recorded the names of people they are thankful for in their lives and positive words to combat evil.
Reflecting on the events of the day, Superintendent Matt Baker stated that, “It is important to the Clinton-Massie Local School District to teach students the gravity of loss due to the attacks of 9/11. We feel that if we do not take time to reflect on the events of 9/11 it will be hard for students to fully understand some of the current events that are occurring in our country and in the Middle East.”
Baker went on to say that the district, “was honored to have Mr. Greg Grove, a retired Marine and former administrator at Clinton-Massie, to lead us in the activities surrounding Patriot Day.”
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.