There were hundreds of smiling faces and lots of flag-waving at the Cooley Ranch Elementary Annual Remembrance Day on September 11, 2019. Looking throughout the sea of red, white and blue dressed miniature patriots, it was hard to realize that the majority of those little faces were not even alive on that fateful day in 2001 or that the oldest among them had been barely born, or was maybe one or two years old at the time.
The Cooley Ranch students all started their day reporting to the flagpole, where the Colton High School Navy Jr. ROTC student color guard presented the colors and stood at rapt attention as Boy Scout Troop 42 members raised the flag to half-mast. After the Pledge of Allegiance echoed throughout the courtyard, everyone sang some patriotic songs. The Kiwanis Club K-Kids offered information on the meaning of 9-11 and then shared a poem with the students.
9-year old Cub Scout Devan Smith felt it was important that the students remember what happened on 9-11, stating, “We need to remember everything that happened and grow from it.” When asked what he learned from the story of 9-11 Devan replied, “I learned that everyone should be nice to someone else.”
He and fellow Cub Scout Sef Miller, also 9, had helped put up the flag. “9-11 is a day about respect and remembering,” said Sef, “and our flag is about pride and bravery.”
Dr. Gerald Matthews, Assistant Principal at Cooley Ranch, said that the purpose of the event is to allow students a time to “reflect on how our actions can help move our country forward while providing the students an opportunity for service, kindness, honor and unity.”
Isabel Salas, the Cub Scout Troop 42 leader stated, “This is a good way for the students to learn about history.” Even the youngest students seemed to know what the day meant in American history and could share the story of those who had lost their lives. Looking across at the faces that represent our country’s future, it was clear that at Cooley Ranch those of 9-11 will not be forgotten.