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Elementary students mark 15th anniversary of 9/11

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Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and a group of Chicago students ? most born after the attacks ? were part of a special tribute to that day. (WLS)

Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and a group of Chicago students - most born after the attacks - were part of a special tribute to that day.

The students of Thomas Hoyne Elementary School in Chicago's Calumet Heights neighborhood commemorate 9/11 with a walk in silence to show their solidarity with the first responders.

"It's, like, one of the biggest tragedies of the U.S., so we have to remember that as U.S. citizens," said Jaylin Jones, eighth grader.

It's the second year the small Chicago public school has held their memorial.

"We wanted to teach them about the heroism, the sacrifice people made going back into the buildings, the firemen and the police officers," said Principal Michael Hinton.

Most of the students there are simply too young to fully grasp the horror of the tragedy 15 years ago. Taylor Purdimen, 11 years old and in fifth grade, wasn't even born when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers in 2001.

"I think it's really important because what the terrorist did, I think they were wrong for doing that," Purdimen said.

But it's in the classroom, through pictures and videos of the area before the attacks, that these students are getting an idea of what happened that day.

Social Studies teacher Nicole Smith-Franklin, whose mother also works at the school and came up with the idea of having a memorial walk, said Chicago's gun violence helps her students relate to the tragedy.

"They're trying to figure out ways they can impact their communities so whatever tragedy happens, how can they help people that are affected," Smith-Franklin said.

Holding American flags, the students walked around their school building 11 times to symbolize their remembrance before releasing patriotic balloons and making a vow to never forget.

"When people do good deeds, it makes the world a better place," said Jade Richardson, eighth grader.

Related Topics:
societyseptember 11studentsChicago - Calumet Heights
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