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Black Hills area schools remember, honor 9/11 victims

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --

Black Hills area schools hosted various memorial events in recognition of Patriot’s Day Sept. 11, 2017.

Students participated in parades and remembrance walks, recited the Pledge of Alliance, thanked service members and first responders, and honored the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“I think it’s essential that we teach children about the 9/11 attacks so that they understand the tragedy and the sacrifices that were made that day,” said Col. David J. Linkh, the 28th Medical Group commander. “I think it’s tough for them to understand what the world was like before the attacks.”

First responders and service members, from Ellsworth Air Force Base and the South Dakota Army National Guard, were present alongside students from Douglas District Schools, Southwest Middle School and Corral Drive Elementary to show their respect to the 2,993 people who died as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

“I think the kids hear about 9/11 from television, reading books and from what they learn in class,” said Michelle Mueller, a teacher at Southwest Middle School. “We want them to know of it but we don’t want to make them afraid of it. We are going to raise awareness about the sacrifices that were made.”

Patriot’s Day is a day of remembrance, but also a chance to educate children.

“I think the most important thing that happened as a result of 9/11, was that the United States came together,” Linkh said. “We came together as a united nation after that and a new-found sense of patriotism, not only in New York but across the country.”