Elementary students spent the day giving thanks to local heroes in honor of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
“Dear firemen, thank you for how hard you work. I don't know how we would manage without you. We are learning about 9/11. It is interesting,” fourth-grader Anna Daniels reads out loud from her letter.
“We also talked about what is a hero. I learned that a hero is someone who is willing to put their life at risk to help others. Heroes are also good role models and they choose to do the right thing,” reads her classmate Hope Gibbons.
As these fourth graders at Immaculate Conception in Eau Claire read their thank you notes to local firefighters, their teachers say they've turned the tragedy of 9-11 into an important history lesson.
“We showed them some of the memorials, and how people are preparing for this 10th anniversary. Out of that we talked about what it means to be a hero, and our children thought it would be nice to thank our local heroes that do this day-in and day-out for the job.
One of those local heroes, Michael Miller, says he knew one of the firefighters who died on 9-11, and he greatly appreciates the thanks he's receiving.
“It's a day to remember, a day to reflect, but we would hope that everybody would remember being a first responder every day, as often as they can,” says Miller.
Though many of the children that go to school here weren’t' even alive on September 11, 2001, they're learning about the attacks and also learning about the virtue of peace.
“It's important to take moments of history, even those who are tragic, and show children even at this age how resilient faith and hope is, and what has come and also extend to them what will be their job to carry on faith,” says McHorney.
“I think firefighters are heroes, too. Thank you for being firefighter and helping us when we are in trouble. You make a difference in our community. Thank you again for helping us,” says Gibbons.
“I know your work is hard. And I don't know how to thank you. May God bless you,” says Daniels.