High schoolers learn about 9/11 through service

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Eisenhower High students use art projects to help elementary students in Goddard learn about 9/11. Eisenhower High students use art projects to help elementary students in Goddard learn about 9/11.
Maize High students prepare a meal for residents at the Sleepy Hollows Ronald McDonald House. Maize High students prepare a meal for residents at the Sleepy Hollows Ronald McDonald House.
GODDARD, Kan. (KAKE) -

Thousands of Kansas high schoolers marked September 11th by observing the National Day of Service and learning the importance of the anniversary in the process.

"I was four months old," said Caroline Birkhofer, a student at Goddard's Eisenhower High School. 

"Well, I was, like, three weeks old when it happened," added her classmate, Madolynn Rink.

Abby Scheer said, "I wasn't even born yet."

High schoolers today are too young to remember September 11th. But as members of the next generation, they're learning to understand how important the anniversary is.

"Like, my dad's a police officer," said Caroline.  "And, so, it really affects my family a lot because that could have been them."

"I know a lot of my grandparents served in the military," said Abby. "So it's important to me that there's people fighting for us."

Madolynn added, "Everybody in my family...they know where they were, what was going on."

While they may not remember, they can honor  those lost 17 years ago with service to those around them now.

"I  think it's really positive and a good way to turn a negative day in history around into something positive," Madolynn said.

At Goddard's Eisenhower High students wrote positive notes to each other, made lunch for those who usually serve their lunch and helped elementary schoolers learn about 9/11 through art projects.

At the same time, Maize High students pulled weeds alongside the road, sewed pillows for people in the hospital and cooked supper for folks staying at Wichita's two Ronald McDonald Houses.

"And we've just been cooking meals for everyone," said Madison Beemiller, a student at Maize High School. "It's been super fun to interact with different grades, interact with different people."

They say helping others this way is helping them better understand the spirit of September 11th and the hashtag Never Forget.

Grace Pastor from Maize High said, "On 9/11, as we do know, there were many people out there helping others to save each others' lives."

"I mean, really giving back to the community," said Madison. "Like when 9/11 happened and the community kind of came together."
 

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