RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — More than 11,000 students in Western KELOLAND came together to remember those who served on September 11th, 18 years ago. They also honored local military personnel and first responders.
Students from Corral Drive Elementary and Southwest Middle School were decked out in red, white and blue for the 5th annual Patriot Day event.
“When I think about Patriot Day I think of the army sometimes and I know it’s time to serve them,” Ruml said.
The schools host the event on September 11th every year.
“It happened 18 years ago, our students don’t know a lot about 9/11 so we start with activities at the elementary level about a week in advance to start educating the students about what 9/11 is, what it means to our community and how it changed our country,” Principal Blaha said.
A day of remembrance but also appreciation for military members, first responders, and some parents in the community.
“It’s great to have the students come out and see their moms and dads or faces that they know from sports and see them in their uniforms. To see the vehicles that they are driving and continue on that parade route that they are having and shake their hands and see the people who actually keep us safe everyday,” Blaha said.
So students like, Loos and Ruml, will always remember 9/11.
“I think it’s so important that we acknowledge this day even if it was bad. We still came together and we have kindergarteners through 8th grade here in this same building with all the officers and army and it’s just really cool,” Loos said.
“I know they are going to keep me safe, I know that any trouble that comes for me, they’re the ones protecting,” Ruml said.
Principal Blaha says that staff begins preparing for this event in summertime. It involves a lot of coordination between the different organizations and 11,000 students.