BETHALTO - Students and faculty of Civic Memorial High School held the second annual 9/11 Memorial ceremony at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10 at CMHS’ football stadium.

In a night of remembrance and respect, students of Ms. Angela Parish’s Physical Education class worked diligently to line the football field with 2,977 American flags to commemerate all of the lives lost in the terrorist attacks that struck America’s spirit on Sept. 11, 2011.

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The Patriot Guard welcomed attendees at both entrances to the venue. Patriot Guard members are commonly known for remembering the lives of fallen military service members, first responders and honorably discharged veterans by standing respectfully at funerals and blocking any and all interruptions that may occur.

Ms. Angela Parish at the 9/11 Memorial service at Civic Memorial High School.

Two of Ms. Parish’s students did the honor of sharing their beautiful voices with the crowd as they sang the National Anthem. Beside the speakers at the event, lay a chunk of steel beam that was removed from the rubble at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center.

“9/11 was truly a day that will live in infamy, like Franklin D. Roosevelt said,” Illinois Senator Bill Haine said in his brief speech to start the evening, sharing that the attacks not only boosted the American spirit, it showed a “resistance to evil.”

Illinois Senator Bill Haine speaking briefly at the 9/11 Memorial service held at Civic Memorial High School

Ms. Parish thanked her students for all of their help they provided in preparation for the ceremony.

“The students all made this happen,” Parish said, “I was just the crazy lady with the idea. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

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According to Parish in her speech, the event was made to “respect and honor all of those who lost their lives” in the events of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Local first responders, including police, firefighters, emergency workers, military service members, doctors and nurses were brought onto the school’s track to receive a standing ovation from the massive crowd in attendance. The students involved with organizing the event handed every person who risks their lives or works to save lives every day a thank you in form of a small card, shaking their hands before they went back to their seats.

The solemn tune of “Taps” was performed by a lone trumpetier. A bagpipe performance of “Amazing Grace” closed out the evening’s event early as a storm rolled into the area.  

If the event had not been discontinued, a video presentation would have been shown on a screen about all of those who lost their lives on 9/11. A few songs would have been played as well. 

Although the event was cut short due to rain, the strength and hard work of everyone involved in preparing and carrying out the event did not go unnoticed. The students, like the American spirit, will not be defeated, and will continue on to make next year’s event bigger and better than ever.



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