In honor of those lost on 9/11, All Saints Catholic School put on a program of traditional American songs outside of Assumption Catholic Church Wednesday. (Amy Vogelsang Photo)
Everyone old enough to remember Sept. 11, 2001, knows exactly where they were and what they were doing. Even now, 12 years later, those events still inspire people to gather, remember and in many cases, say thanks for what they have.
As the unusual downpour cast a gloomy eeriness over Roswell, children’s voices could be heard proudly singing out traditional American songs at Assumption Catholic Church Wednesday afternoon.
For roughly five years, exempting last year, All Saints Catholic School has been remembering the events of 9/11 in song. The children, although most of them were not even born and therefore do not remember, have memorized American tunes and grown up learning about the reverence given to the day.
“The school has done this to honor those who gave their lives,” said Principal Scott Schoen. After three weeks of practice and preparation, it all came together perfectly, he said.
Most of the kids were in second and third grades, singing songs like “This is My Country,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and Woody Guthrie’s classic, “This Land is Your Land.” Although when asked the kids immediately said they liked all the songs, it was eventually decided almost unanimously that the latter tune was their overall favorite.
“(The hardest part was) singing in front of a whole entire crowd,” said 8-year-old Jacqueline Pappas while others nodded their agreement around her. One fellow classmate, however, disagreed.
“I’m used to being in front of crowds like this,” said Stephanie Posey nonchalantly. Posey, along with Savanna Whitlock, both turned 8 years old Wednesday, adding a completely different spirit to their singing.
But it was not just the older kids who had a chance to represent their country in song. Holding homemade paper flags, a group of kindergartners bravely and proudly took the stage. And in strong little voices they belted out “God Bless America”: the perfect finale to a singing event.
As the kids wandered after their performance, each eating a red, white and blue rocket popsicle, it was apparent that regardless of what they did or did not know about the events of 9/11, they were proud to have sung America’s patriotic songs.
“(My favorite part of the day) was singing the traditional songs at Mass and then out here (under the pavilion), honoring God and country,” Schoen said.