Patriot Day falls on Sunday this year so students at Boyce Elementary School observed a moment of silence on Friday in a school-wide gathering accompanied by a flag ceremony and singing of the National Anthem.
Patriot Day is observed each September 11th in memory of the 2,977 killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Initially, the day was called the Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001. The U.S. House of Representatives Joint Resolution 71 approved the designation by a vote of 407-0 on October 25, 2001.
“It’s important for our students to have a moment of remembrance of what was a very memorable event” said Boyce Elementary Assistant Principal Nicole McGowan. “This ceremony recognizes patriotism a little differently from Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.”
On Patriot Day, the President directs that the American flag be flown at half-staff at American homes, the White House, and over U.S. government buildings and establishments, both at home and abroad. The President also asks Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 am EST, the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
“Our ceremony is an age-appropriate, school gathering to discuss what Patriot Day means” added Boyce Elementary principal Susan Catlett. “We want our students to be good citizens of their community, country and the world.”
Hundreds of students, many wearing red, white and blue, packed the Boyce Elementary school gym to hear Boyce music teacher and Clarke County Honor Guard member Jessica Tavenner “honor the colors” with her bugle while Honor Guardsmen Jim Kelly and Tom Bundy marched the US flag to the front of the packed gymnasium. Rainy weather prevented the originally planned outdoor flagpole ceremony, but even so, Tavenner, Bundy and Kelly’s crisply pressed uniforms, shiny helmets and military precision filled any void caused by the dreary skies as they led the students in honoring the flag and the nation.
Several students spontaneously approached Bundy and Kelly after the ceremony to thank the two veterans for their military service.
“Patriot Day is important because it draws attention to the important role that each and every American has to play in the defending and honoring both our country and our flag” said Kelly.
View video of the Boyce Elementary School Patriot Day Ceremony: