Catholic school students mark 9/11 anniversary

Published on September 11, 2020
A student at Saint Thomas the Apostle salutes the flag.

Students from Catholic schools around the Diocese of Grand Rapids have marked the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, honoring those who lost their lives that day.

From prayer services to reflections, to saluting the flag, students marked the solemn anniversary in various ways. See photos of a few different activities in the gallery below or at this link.


Catholic school students mark 9/11 remembrance


At Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic School in Grand Rapids, scouts participated in the annual Scout Salute and Community Day of Remembrance. Each year on September 11, members of scouting troops take turns in a sun-up to sun-down salute of the U.S. flag. Typically, the event takes place at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in downtown Grand Rapids. This year, it took place on Facebook, with scouts participating remotely via video. At Saint Thomas, where students are in a troop together with students from St. Stephen Catholic School, scouts saluted the flag from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

At San Juan Diego Academy in Wyoming, fourth graders started the day raising the flag and lowering it to half staff. They took turns reading reflections and also recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Students at Ludington Area Catholic School held a prayer service around the flag pole. They prayed for those who lost their lives on September 11 and for their families. They also prayed for peace, gave thanks for all those who serve the community (such as emergency responders, military personnel, teachers, priests and religious, and medical personnel), and remembered those who have died in the line of duty.

LAC students also prayed for all to be kind to one another in their families, schools, community, nation and the world, in order to be more like Jesus in words and actions. They prayed, too, for the grace to be kind like St. Peter Claver was to others and to be more like him in seeing Christ in everyone we meet.

During the LAC prayer service, a flag was raised and lowered to half staff. This particular flag had been given to the family of Principal Jan Bigalke by a priest with the U.S. Air Force, and it had been flown over Afghanistan during his service there. Along with reciting the pledge, students concluded their prayer service singing God Bless America.

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 31 vibrant learning communities (26 elementary and five high schools) serving more than 6,340 preschool through 12th grade students throughout West Michigan. Our schools inspire young people to grow in Catholic faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.

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