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9/11 memorial planned at Westwood Middle

Westwood Middle School will host a 9/11 Remembrance and First Responder Appreciation Day from 1-3 p.m. Monday at the school.

This is to commemorate and memorialize the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and on United Flight 93.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to educate our students about a very moving experience that many of us still remember like it was yesterday,” Westwood Principal John Conrad said. “Our students weren’t born yet when 9/11 occurred, so this opportunity is about raising awareness and bringing to life for them a very important moment in American history. It’s also our chance to welcome first responders from the greater Morgantown area to our campus and thank them for their service in keeping our communities safe.”

The Westwood vertical social studies team of Barbara Smith (6th grade), Ashley Grandick-Peck (7th grade) and Matthew Barcus (8th grade) has created a meaningful and memorable day that involves a myriad of interactive primary and secondary source activities in a school-wide initiative.

Those include: A video of Westwood’s own Sarah Cooke, who was a first responder working rescue and recovery efforts at the Flight 93 crash site; hands-on learning with Morgantown-area first responders and their mobile command center, fire trucks, EMS vehicles and police cars; and select members of the Westwood staff who will educate students on other topics related to 9/11. Those include staff members talking about military service for the country, interacting with primary sources via StoryCorps and multi-cultural perspectives.

The day will close with a school-wide assembly featuring “Boatlift” (an untold tale of 9/11 resistance) narrated by Tom Hanks, and recognition of area first responders who are in attendance at the event.

“We have worked very hard with the planning and logistics to make this event happen for our students and our community,” Phil Caskey, Westwood social studies teacher, said. “It is our privilege and duty to tell the 9/11 story and recognize our community’s first responders who selflessly protect their communities first. It is our hope that our students will recognize the significance and importance of 9/11 and that is so much more than just another page in history for them.”