Senior Toni Payton, right, joins schoolmates in re-leasing a balloon during a “We Have Not Forgotten” tribute at Horizon Science Academy Toledo.
THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
Caitlyn Diebert, 10, wasn’t born when terrorist acts shocked the nation on Sept. 11, 2001.
However, Caitlyn said she knows of the events by talking to her parents about what they remember and through her teachers at Horizon Science Academy.
PHOTO GALLERY: Students remember 9/11
On Tuesday, she and 290 students at the downtown branch of the charter school let loose red, white, and blue balloons from the infield at Fifth Third Field to mark the attacks’ 12th anniversary.
Students stood silently as the Star Spangled Banner played on the stadium’s public address system. Some youth held signs, including those that read, “2,977 Americans Lost,” and “A Day of Patriotism, Sacrifice, Service, Community, Courage.”
The helium-filled balloons were released at 8:46 a.m., the time 12 years ago when the hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Students enrolled in other Horizon Charter Schools released balloons at three other locations.
Six-hundred students at the charter school’s location on West Sylvania Avenue in West Toledo released 300 balloons at 9:03 a.m. to coincide with the second plane hitting the South Tower; 450 students at the school’s Springfield Township campus released 300 balloons at 9:37 a.m., which is when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon in Washington, and then 500 students at the company’s Michigan Math and Science Academy in Centerline, Mich., released 300 balloons at 10:03 a.m., the time United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa.
The events were held to remember the victims of the attacks and the children of the men and women who were killed and grew up without parents, said Anna Stewart, community outreach director for the charter school. “Our focus is on the children who have grown up in the last 12 years [without a parent],” she said.
The schools also created a quilt with the theme “We Care,” with each student creating a fabric panel indicating what he or she cares about in America.
In Perrysburg Township, Wood County Sheriff Mark Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn spoke to students at the Penta Career Center. “It brought our country together,” Sheriff Wasylyshyn told the vocational students. “We were unified as one country with one goal, to bring justice.”
The Patriot Day Memorial program included raising and lowering the flag outside to half-staff by the school’s color guard and students playing “Taps” on trumpets.
Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough asked people to remember the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks and the more than 6,200 members of the U.S. military who died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
“Real heroes are those who put themselves in harm’s way to defend our freedom,” Mayor Stough said during the Patriot’s Day 911 Ceremony in River Centre Park.
Sylvania and Sylvania Township police officers, township fire department members, and veterans who belong to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 717 and American Legion Joseph W. Diehn Post 468 stood in silence to honor the victims.
Sept. 11 will be remembered throughout the month at the Ottawa Hills Memorial Park, where a Wall of Remembrance will be available for viewing through Sept. 30, sunrise to sunset.
The names of those who died during the attacks are listed on the wall. It is located just inside the Talmadge Road entrance under a white tent.
Staff writers Matt Thompson and Natalie Trusso Cafarello contributed to this report.
Contact Mark Reiter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6199.