Amelia Academy Marks 15th Anniversary of Sept. 11
2016, September 19 – Many of the students at Amelia Academy don’t remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Most of them were not even born in 2001. However, each year for the past nine years, they have arrived at school before dawn to place 2,997 American flags on the front lawn of the school. Each of the flags represents a life lost in the 9/11 attacks on our nation.
As people in Amelia travel to work and school, they slow down or tap a car horn in support of the students’ pledge to never forget the lives lost on 9/11 and the sacrifices of those who serve in public safety as well as the armed forces.
After placing the flags this year on the morning of Sept. 12, the students, faculty, and guests joined in a ceremony to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. This year’s guest speaker was retired Colonel Jamie Inman, Chief of Staff, Virginia Military Institute.
The St. Andrew’s Pipe and Drum Corp, several of whom teach music at the Academy, and Academy students played “Amazing Grace.” The Nottoway High School Color Guard then presented the colors after which faculty member Angie Anderson sang The National Anthem. The community then joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jerimy Ford, Pastor of Passion Community Church, led the gathering in prayer, and a moment of silence was observed at the time when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
Caitlyn G., Sarah R., Rachel A., Hanna E., Hannah F., Caleb G., and Jessica M. sang “America the Beautiful.” They were followed by a performance of “This Land is Your Land” by the younger students in grades kindergarten through fourth grade, led by music teacher, Jaime Llewellyn.
Grady O., Student Government Organization (SGO) president, spoke about the Academy’s commitment to remembering the 9/11 victims. He also emphasized the importance of learning from all those who serve our nation and “passing along the torch” to future generations.
Hannah F., SGO vice president, shared a timeline of the events on Sept. 11, 2001, especially geared toward the younger students who were not born then.
After an introduction by Grady, Col. Inman took the podium and said it was nice to be in a small town where students are willing to get up early to create such a tribute.
Remembering the days after the attacks, Col. Inman said that our nation was united and, despite the current divisive climate, “we have more in common than what divides us.”
“We are the hope of the world” he said, “in our ability to be a leading nation.”
After multiple tours of duty in the Middle East, Col. Inman was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart, as well as other recognition. He said that the second most important element in combat was the superior technology available to our troops. However, most important were the people who served.
In his capacity as Commander of the National Capitol Region Warrior Transition Brigade, Col. Inman encountered numerous wounded soldiers who were treated at Walter Reed Hospital. He said that he was most impressed by their “resiliency and hope for the future.”
In honoring those and everyone who has served our nation, Col. Inman quoted the final lines of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address— “. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Rev. Jerry Wyngaard, retired Lt. Col. (Air Force), who is a member of the Academy faculty and deacon of Good Samaritan Catholic Church, shared a reflection in which he said that the hearts of all Americans were hurting on Sept. 11, 2001, We honor the sacrifices of all those who serve in harm’s way. “Freedom is not free,” he said. Rev. Wyngaard then led the gathering in a closing prayer.
The community and special guests attended a reception hosted by the SGO following the program.
On Monday, September 12, Amelia Academy students and teachers arrived at school at 6:00 a.m. to place 2,997 flags on the school’s front lawn in honor of each life lost on September 11, 2001.
Amelia Academy teacher Mrs. Angela Anderson sings the National Anthem during Amelia Academy’s 9-11 Never Forget Program while guest speaker Colonel Jamie Inman, Pastor Jerimy Ford, S.G.O vice president Hannah F. and S.G.O. president Grady O. honor the flag. The program is sponsored by the student government.
Many veterans attended the Amelia Academy 9-11 Program.
Amelia Academy third graders Macy B., Emily K., Hope A., Curtis I., Ryan M., and Jaxon B. perform during the 9-11 Program.
Students Rachel A., Hanna E., Caitlyn G., Caleb G., Sarah R., Hannah F. and Jessica M. sang “America the Beautiful” during the 911 Remembrance Program held on Monday, September 12.
Amelia Academy music teacher Mrs. Jaime Llewellyn led the students during the 9-11 program.
Amelia Academy students perform for the 9-11 Program.
S.G.O. president Grady O. welcomes the students, faculty and guest the 9-11 program.
Grady O. welcomes guest speaker Colonel Jamie Inman to the podium.
Colonel Jamie Inman was the guest speaker for the 9-11 Remembrance Program.
Amelia Academy fifth grader Layne R. and senior Leland H. recite Alan Jacksons’ song “Where were you where when the world stopped turning.”
The Amelia Academy Student Government Organization officers pose with the 9-11 Remembrance Program guest speaker Colonel Jamie Inman. Left to right: Tyler G., Erin A., Hannah F., Colonel Inman, Madison B., and Grady O.