READING, MA — Below is a press release from Austin Prep:
Austin Preparatory School conducted a special community meeting Wednesday to mark 18 years since the September 11th, 2001 attacks. To mark this solemn occasion, the school community gathered in Richard J. Meelia Hall for prayers and remembrance.
Senior Gena Rhodes opened the gathering by leading the student body in the singing of the National Anthem. This past summer, the Austin Prep community read The Red Bandanna, which recounts the true story of Boston College alumnus Welles Crowther who was working in the World Trade Center during the attack. After listening to an excerpt of the book, the community watched a short film produced by Freshman Calvin Pardee, in which Austin Prep Faculty recounted where they were on that fateful September morning. The assembly concluded with a moment of silence and the playing of “Taps” by Junior Callum Tinkler.
Headmaster Dr. James Hickey, Ph.D., then working at a school in New York City, recalled watching from the school rooftop as smoke billowed over Lower Manhattan. With phone lines down and in the pre-cell phone era, Hickey remembered managing uncertainty from parents, some of whom worked in the City as first responders.
“That day changed American Life, and it is important today to pause and remember those who we lost, but also to celebrate,” Hickey said. “There is something about America that is special and unique. People can come from anyplace around the globe to become an American. It is a gift that we need to honor and revere, and it is important we remember those people who have fought to protect those values. Today, we remember to carry with us the feeling of the special gift we call the United States of America.”
This fall, Austin Prep will engage the student body in additional programming in connection with The Red Bandanna, including organizing a delegation of runners to participate in Boston College’s Red Bandanna 5K in association with the Welles Crowther Foundation.
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