Gompers’ 9/11 memorial will honor Joliet police, firefighters
By Tony Graf firstname.lastname@example.org September 4, 2011 3:56PM
Updated: November 30, 2011 12:26AM
JOLIET — Gompers Junior High School will hold a memorial program for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and also honor today’s heroes in Joliet.
“Remember Our Heroes” will begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 9 at the school gymnasium, 1501 Copperfield Ave.
“It’s a student-run program,” said Principal Connie Russell. “It’s a tribute to the victims of 9/11, and it’s also a tribute to Joliet police and firefighters.”
The program is a learning experience for all 840 students at Gompers. A decade ago, some of today’s sixth-graders were as young as a year old.
Teachers have been reviewing TV footage and newspaper articles in order to show the impact of that day’s terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and the skies over Pennsylvania.
Next week’s memorial will feature student speakers and musical performances.
The Gompers band, choir and orchestra will perform.
Gompers students have participated in other ways:
Names of the 2,985 people who were killed in the attacks will be posted in the school.
Every student has made a badge of honor, which he or she will wear as a tribute to Joliet police and firefighters.
Every student has written a letter of invitation to community members, including government leaders, police and firefighters.
The Herald-News received three such invitations. The news and advertising departments received letters from Daniel Rosales, Jose Tirado and Sebastian Gates.
The overall “Remember Our Heroes” effort is schoolwide, involving every student, teacher and staff member, Russell said.
Barbara Eberhard, who taught in Joliet Grade School District for 34 years, approached Russell last month with the idea for a memorial. The momentum has been building ever since.
“It’s going to be a very patriotic event,” Eberhard said.
Eberhard is the director of “Remember Our Heroes,” and has been conducting rehearsals at Gompers with each grade.
She also has been working with the speakers and musical soloists.
Eberhard believes that working with children is the best way for her to remember Sept. 11, 2001, and honor the memory of those who lost their lives.
On Sept. 9, all Joliet Grade School District students and staff will be encouraged to wear red, white and blue, to remember the 9/11 victims and to show patriotism.