Greenbrier High School has reached out to help other schools affected by the Sept. 11 tragedy.
Among the 64 passengers on American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, were three pupils and their teachers who were headed to a National Geographic-sponsored excursion. The plane, which departed from Washington, was headed to Los Angeles.
Students and teachers at Greenbrier High School sent a banner to show support to Engine 1, Ladder 24 fire station in New York City, which lost more than 200 firefighters in the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
Since Sept. 11, Greenbrier students have rallied to collect more than $3,000, which has been given directly to funds set up to benefit the families of those pupils and teachers.
"The students were very emphatic that they wanted the money to go straight to the people without any administrative costs," Greenbrier Principal Gloria Hamilton said.
Greenbrier gave $400 to a scholarship fund that was established in honor of the pupil and teacher from Backus Middle School who perished. Greenbrier also sent $400 to trust funds established for the pupil and teacher from Leckie Elementary School.
"I wanted to call and thank the Greenbrier High School family for thinking of us," Leckie Principal Clementine Homesley said on a voice mail recording to Ms. Hamilton. "This has certainly been a trying year, but all of the love and condolences coming from everyone certainly does make our hearts feel better. Have a happy 2002. We hope than we will never have to endure another year like that again."
Greenbrier also sent $2,000 to the mother of the pupil from Ketcham Elementary School who was killed. She is a single mother of five other children. They also sent $400 to the daughter - a college freshman - who is the only survivor of the teacher who was killed from that school.
With a color computer-generated photograph of an American eagle on her desk, Ms. Hamilton admits that she and others at the school have been profoundly affected by the events of Sept. 11, especially after learning about the plights of the pupils and their teachers.
"You put your child on the plane that morning and expect them to go off and do something wonderful, and then something like this happens," Mrs. Hamilton said.
"Before Christmas we still hadn't decided what to do with the money, but when our students learned of the students and teachers that had perished, they thought it would be a great way for a school to reach out to another school."
Students at Greenbrier also designed a banner of support which was recently hung in the Engine 1, Ladder 24 fire station in New York City.The station is on 31st Street across from St. Francis of Assisi Church. The banner, which all of the students signed, says: New York, Our Thoughts Are With Ya'll.
The station is the one served by New York Fire Department Chaplain Mychal Judge - known as Father Mike - who was one of the first to perish in the attacks on the World Trade Center. More than 200 firefighters from that station were killed attempting to rescue people. Father Mike died after being hit by falling debris while administering last rites to a fallen colleague.
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