Shoals Elementary set to participate in national 9/11 ceremony

Shoals Elementary School students practice the ceremony on Friday.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Shoals Elementary School in Charleston and its students and staff will participate in a nationwide ceremony Saturday surrounding the memorial of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on United States soil.

Shoals Elementary was selected as one of 60 locations across the country, and the only location in West Virginia, to participate in the 1st 9/11 Flag of Honor Across America Memorial Event, according to Kanawha County Schools.

Fifth-grade students from the school will read 50 names and a brief biography of people that were lost during the attacks. The students held a practice run of the ceremony on Friday.

“We received 50 names out of the 2,983 souls lost and we’re going to be reading those 50 names with a short biography,” Haley Hathaway, 5th-grade teacher told 580-WCHS.

The ceremony will include the raising of flags, singing of The National Anthem by 5th-grade students, guest speakers including Kanawha County Schools Superintendent, and the name reading. David Anderson, the principal of Shoals, said every student will be wearing shirts that say ‘Never Forget’ with the date on it.

The shirts that the students will be wearing.

Anderson said he visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York City several times and apply for his school to participate in this. He said there’s a personal connection with the school as a current staff member grew up in New York City and lost a childhood friend in the towers.

Melinda Humphreys, a 5th-grade teacher, said this can be a learning experience for the students.

“A good opportunity for the students to have conversations with their parents and find out where they were at that time. It really is a living history for us,” Humphreys said.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Those attending are asked to arrive by 8:45 a.m.