Eastside remembers victims, celebrates veterans in honor of Sept. 11, 2001
Published 9:57 am Monday, September 14, 2015
Lauren Sheeley was an eighth grader in social studies class when terrorists hijacked four passenger planes and flew them into the World Trade Center buildings in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001.
A fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Sheeley went home that day and talked with her mom about what happened. Her cousin was deployed six months later.
“We come from a military family so it has always been near and dear to my heart to recognize 9/11 and our country’s veterans,” Sheeley said. “It’s important to me.”
Today, Sheeley teaches first grade students at Eastside Connections Schools in Niles.
On Friday — the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — she organized a Patriot’s Day program to recognize those who died on 9/11 and the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The entire school gathered around the flagpole for a moment of silence in the morning and the playing of “Taps.”
Veterans then visited first grade classrooms to kick off the first-graders’ Veteran’s Day learning program.
Sheeley said she believes it is important to teach students about the value of freedom.
“As an adult I want to have a better world for my children,” she said. “So I will do anything I can to help these kids, and eventually my own, remember the veterans and why we have the freedoms that we do.”
Veterans visiting the first-graders Friday were Niles residents Harry Trescher (Army and Navy), Robert Landeck (Navy) and Al Walker (Marines).