RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Students, staff and family gathered at Amelia Academy Wednesday to remember the thousands who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks 18 years ago.
It took about two hours for Amelia academy students to plant 2,977 flags into the ground.
Each flag represents a person killed at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Event organizers say the annual tradition instills a spirit of humility and strength in young people— many of whom were not even alive yet to remember the day.
Middle and high school students labored lovingly— at 5 o’clock in the morning— to make sure each victim is never forgotten.
Then at 8:30, the youngest kids showed what they know, singing songs and reciting the pledge of allegiance for proud parents and staff.
Senior class president Madison Barnard says she’s been to every single flag-laying ceremony at Amelia Academy since it began in 2007.
"It’s up to us to make sure the next generation remembers,” she said.
All who were around to see the attacks relived that awful day, remembering where they were.
“I was in 6th grade, watching on the TV in shock,” Jacob Draper, a school advisor, said.
“I was pregnant,” State Senator Amanda Chase explained. "I had a doctor’s appointment and the doctor had family at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.”
Senator Chase told event-goers what she says she tells her kids: "We can’t live in a spirit of fear.”
Those young people now making sure they all remember how this country banded together despite it all.
Both generations now promising to live every day confidently and fearlessly.
The flags will remain on this patch of grass for at least a week, but the reason behind them will never be forgotten.
Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.