“The twin towers were a tragic sight.
Some people still can’t sleep through the night.
They remember the towers about to collapse.
All you could hear was a bunch of gasps.
As the towers were falling, thousands were dying.
You could see everyone crying.
Eventually the towers were nothing but air.
No one spoke but everyone stared.
Few survivors were found at the scene and that’s something everyone can agree.
We can’t forget the heroes of Flight 93.
They sacrificed their lives as we all see.
The terrorists did prove something that day.
We are Americans and proud to be the U.S.A.”
— Kalynn Boos, 11
Even though 11-year-old Kalynn Boos wasn’t old enough to remember the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, her grasp of that tragic day was captured in a poem read Tuesday during a 9/11 service at Chambersburg Area Middle School South on Tuesday.
All of the school’s sixth-graders were assigned the task of writing a poem capturing their feelings of the tragic day, but Principal Kurt Widmann chose Boos’ poem to read during Tuesday’s service.
“It really touched me,” Widmann said.
To mark the 10-year anniversary of the attacks on U.S. soil, students gathered for a “U.S.A.” photo. Sixth-graders wore red to form a “U;” seventh-graders sported white to form an “S;” and the eighth-grade class donned blue to form an “A.”
Cameron Reinhart was 3 years old when the nation was glued to the television in an attempt to understand what was happening.
“I remember coming home on that day. It was my first day of preschool so I was kind of excited about that, and then I came home, and I saw my mom, and she was really upset,” the eighth-grader said. “At that time, I didn’t really understand it, but now I really do.”
After the photograph was taken, the students sat on a nearby hill for a ceremony remembering those who lost their lives on that fateful day.
According to the Associated Press, 2,977 people died from the attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and in the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa. That does not include the 19 hijackers on the four planes.
“A lot of them don’t remember (9/11), and it’s a part of our history. We need to show them how important it is and how it changed our entire world. It is important to remember, and it is part of history,” Widmann said.
“Nearly 3,000 people were killed during the attacks,” he said. “To put that in perspective, there are exactly 1,000 people (students) seated on the hill in front of me,” Widmann said.
Retired four-star Navy Adm. William “Bill” Smith told the students that 9/11 changed the world forever.
“I remember that Tuesday 10 years ago very well. I was scheduled to attend an important meeting in the Pentagon that morning,” Smith said.
But, as luck would have it, his meeting was canceled.
When he heard the news of the terrorist attack, Smith said: “I did not believe it. I thought it was some sort of a radio stunt.”
But it was tragically real.
Smith said the best way for the children to honor the lives lost is to attend ceremonies such as the one at CAMS South.
“You should remember them always for their bravery. You should also show respect for your local, first responders — the police and the fire departments of Chambersburg who will risk their lives to protect you,” Smith said.
Charles “Chuck” Lucas, a past VFW Post 1599 commander and former teacher, said he will never forget that day.
He was teaching European history at Chambersburg Area Senior High School when the news broke.
“I remember the looks on the faces of my students in the classroom that morning. It was unbelievable what was going on,” Lucas said.
Members of VFW Post 1599 of Chambersburg, Pa., conducted a flag-folding ceremony, followed by the playing of taps and a moment of silence.