MILTON, Ga. – The high schools of Milton have established the tradition of students remembering the 2,977 victims of the Sept. 11 attacks through their own efforts.
Student-led memorials and ceremonies were held in the morning of Sept. 11 at the two schools. Both lined their lawns with flags dedicated to the dead, a tradition started at Milton High and passed on to its newer sister school, Cambridge.
“When you see the flags, it’s overwhelming,” said Caroline Willis, a junior at Cambridge and organizer of this year’s event. She, her friends and other fellow students were out for several hours on the afternoon of Sept. 10 placing the small American flags into the ground. They were helped by members of the Milton Fire Department.
“[The victims] were not numbers,” Willis said. “Each flag is a person, and each person had a story behind them.”
At Milton High School, Savannah Bailey inherited the school’s program from her older brother, Zach, and has seen it continue to grow.
“It takes about two weeks to organize it,” Bailey said. The school’s choir group as well as Milton Police and Fire officials took part in the small ceremony held Sept. 11 before school. A bugler played “Taps” while the onlookers watched from the steps of the school building.
Bailey said she was 3 years old in 2001 and has no memory of the attacks. That does not stop her from honoring those killed on that day.
“It’s very important we remember,” Bailey said. “We need to understand what people went through.”
For Milton Principal Cliff Jones, it is important that students continue to lead Milton’s ceremony.
“It’s extremely important for the public to know not only that these students understand their role in preserving history, but are also energetic in taking on that responsibility,” Jones said.