Most of the students at Maryville Intermediate School were too young to truly remember the horror of the terrorists’ attacks that took place on Sept. 11, 2001.
That didn’t stop the 860 students at the school from raising more than $1,000 in honor of the emergency workers who responded the day of the attacks. The students collected their donations in less than three days.
On Friday morning, Sept. 9, members of the Maryville Police and Fire departments came to the school with an honor guard. The student body, staff, teachers and administration stood quietly as the flag was raised and then lowered to half mast, and MIS band director George Hayden played “Taps” on a trumpet.
Sixth grader Allyson Adam, student council president, said she was proud of her fellow students for raising the money to honor first responders. “I thought it was amazing the whole school came together to raise that much money,” she said.
Sixth grader Tyler Chamberlain donated $100 in honor of his grandparents, Dawn and John Metcalf, who were in New York City in the days after the 9/11 attacks. “My grandparents were helping people right after 9/11 in New York. They worked for an ambulance company up there,” he said.
Principal Kevin Myers was also proud of his students. “Because this is the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, we were talking with administration and the student council about what we could do to honor those who responded to that event. These students weren’t born when the attack occurred or were too young to have a memory of it. There’s been a lot of education on the part of staff to explain what happened,” he said. “I worked with the student council, and we came up with a way to honor those who lost their lives and honor first responders.”
Myers said the goal was for each student, teacher, administrator and staff member to donate at least a $1. With 860 students in the school, “we actually exceeded that goal,” he said of the three-day campaign.
Student council sponsor Angie Norris was impressed with how the students responded. “I thought it was fantastic,” she said. “The kids got involved and wanted to participate.”
The students ended up raising $1,075 to donate to the Maryville Fire Department. The money will be used to purchase a gas detector capable of detecting oxygen levels, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and flammable vapors, Capt. Mike Caylor said.
Caylor said he and the department members were honored when they learned the students wanted to make the donation.
“It is important this generation be made aware of the sacrifices made to save others on that day,” he said.
Maryville Police officer Shane Collins said he was touched by the students’ gesture. “It hits your heart,” he said. “This is history. I think it is a great tradition to honor all the fallen police officers and firefighters. This is the least we can do for those who have lost their lives,” he said.