By: Amber Pennycuff
Walking into the midst of all the Brentwood High School students, the all too familiar chatter snuck up into the conversation: “Where were you on that day?” That single day is one that we will never forget.
In memorial of September 11th, Brentwood High School’s Laura Whitaker organized an activity for students to join in and show their patriotism.
Whitaker is the girls cross country coach and has asked her team to run the stadium in honor of the men and women who gave their lives that fateful day. This year, Whitaker was able to get the Brentwood Fire Department to take part in the patriotic ceremony.
With Josh Groban’s memorable tune,“You Raise Me Up”, playing through the loud speakers of the stadium, Whitaker’s sparkle in her eye gave away her humble passion for honoring those who gave their lives that day truly shined through.
“This year I thought you know what I am going to call the Brentwood Fire Department to see if they will come out and see if they will let us wear some of their gear,” said Whitaker, “just so we can remember and just think about what it must have been like to go into a building that’s burning while everybody else is coming out.”
The Star Spangle Banner could not have seemed more perfect as the ceremony began. Groups of students gathered around and onto the bleachers decked out in America’s colors, and Whitaker took the microphone to begin to speaking about that fateful day.
Students, one-by-one, took the microphone to state: “I will never forget.” And with those words, each of them took off to start the honorable climb.
With the clinging and clanging of feet pattering on the silver stadium rows, the Brentwood Fire Department lined up to cheer them on. Students finished their rounds with a high-five or a great big smile towards the courageous patrons of Brentwood.
“I didn’t quite know what they were going to do,” stated Nelson, “I was surprised, pleasantly.”
Closing out the run was a young man in the back with a stars and stripes bandana around his head and a giant American flag in his hand. He approached the officers and ended it with a strong handshake.
Whitaker said it the best relaying a quote to the audience when she stated firefighters are a different breed. You’ve been taught to run out of a burning building, and they’ve been taught to run in.