Student Shares Personal Reflection About 9/11

Olympic View Elementary honored the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on September 11 with a series of poignant events. The flag was flown at half-staff. Principal Gloria McKearney held a brief ceremony on the blacktop at the beginning of school for grades 1 – 6. Safety Patrol members Paraded the Colors, everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and student Kevin Kappes, son of Capt. Steve Kappes, USN (Ret.), reflected about this tragic and painful day.

Olympic View Elementary servers more than 150 students from military-connected families. We thought we would share Kevin’s reflection, and his father’s connection to this date.

“On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama gave a speech. He announced that Osama bin Laden was dead. Bin Laden was a bad man and was violent toward innocent people. This was a huge deal because of what Osama bin Laden had done. He planned the attacks on September 11, 2001. This day is remembered as “9/11,” Kevin recounted.

“That morning at 8:46 a.m., a passenger jet crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  Later, at 9:03 a.m., a second plane crashed into the South Tower and the two towers later collapsed. Then at 9:37 a.m., another jet crashed into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. All of the people on the planes died and many in the towers died too. A number of the dead people deceased fire fighters, policemen and women, and many other people who were trying to save people in the buildings. In total, more than 2800 people were killed and hundreds were injured.

The planes had been taken over by terrorists that worked for Osama bin Laden.  A huge lesson that should be learned and remembered forever from “9/11” is tolerance. Bin Laden was hurtful to people who didn’t agree with him. Tolerance is the opposite: that people should treat one another with respect, no matter their religion, political beliefs, or nationality.

“9/11” is a tragedy to everyone, but it means more to me. At the time, my father was working in the Pentagon on the day of the attacks. He actually worked in the place where the plane crashed, but he had a meeting on the other side of the building on “9/11.” His office was destroyed, but he wasn’t in it. Last summer, my family went to New York City for vacation. We visited the “9/11” memorial. On the plaques that showed all of the names of the people who died in the Pentagon, my Dad was able to find the names of some of his coworkers. I am very lucky that he is alive.

“9/11” should be remembered and we should learn from it. Airports now have stronger and stricter security systems, so that people are safe.  “9/11” shouldn’t be something that we shudder in fear about whenever it comes up. We should learn from it and fix our mistakes so something like it doesn’t happen again. We should honor it and respect it with all of our hearts. Many people died just helping others in this tragedy and they would do anything to save a life. We live in a wonderful nation that cannot be broken.  Thank You.”

A moment of silence was observed, and the ceremony ended with singing of “America the Beautiful.”

–Information Courtesy of Olympic View Elementary

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