9/11 REMEMBERED: McKinley students honor those lost

September 18, 2011 Helen Klein
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Those who died on 9/11 will be remembered in the hallway of alocal middle school.

Students at McKinley Intermediate School will mark the 10thanniversary of 9/11 by adding to an existing mural on the school’sthird floor to create a tribute the men and women who lost theirlives in the attack and its aftermath, and to the members of thearmed forces who put their lives on the line to defend the UnitedStates.

The purpose of the mural is multifold, said Janice Geary,McKinley’s principal, who stressed that such efforts are part ofthe healing process. We have some children who lost parents on9/11, and they were only one or two at the time. It’s hard to wrapyour head around. This is McKinley’s contribution to maintainingthe memory and tribute to the World Trade Center.

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In addition, said Geary, the school mural has a strong didacticcomponent. As educators, we have a responsibility to teachchildren what it is to be American, what it is to be a goodcitizen, she explained. Creating the mural, Geary added, is a wayof taking this stuff out of the classroom, and giving kids agreater connection to historical events.

Thirdly, such projects strengthen the bonds between school andcommunity, Geary said. School is all about community, sheemphasized.

To that end, educators had invited local elected officials,firefighters, police officers, members of the military; and formerstudents to be part of a commemorative event in the school’sauditorium on Monday, September 12, at which student artists whohelped to create the mural (now in sketch form) were recognized,and educators received a piece of iron from the 68th floor of theFreedom Tower as a memento from ironworkers who are workingthere.

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