15th STB helps Clarke Elementary remember Sept. 11

Story and Photos by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Soldiers of the 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Soldiers as well as Clarke Elementary School students and parents participated in a flag raising ceremony at the school here Sept. 11.

The annual ceremony to commemorate those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks included speeches from school counselor Frances Henshoher, 15th STB commander Lt. Col. Paula Lodi, and a poem written and recited by music teacher Floyd Gage.

Soldiers of 15th STB raised the U.S. and Texas flags to half-staff in accordance with the presidential directive for Patriot Day as the children and their parents quietly observed.

“We want to remember those who died on that day,” Henshoher explained to the children.

“A day meant for fear instead showed how each one of us is so dear,” Gage said, reciting the opening line of his poem, “A Day to Remember.”

“From the smallest child to the oldest man, we are all Americans in this great land,” he said.

Lodi spoke to the students about the importance of the day and how the attacks of seven years ago still affect people today.

“I remember when September 11, happened.  I was in … an Army school,” Lodi, a mother of two said.

“I could have gotten out of the Army, but I chose to stay in for [my children].”

Lodi also took several comments and questions from the young students.

“Why did they try to kill the Americans?” one boy asked Lodi, speaking quietly into a microphone.

“They tried to kill the Americans to try to say that the way we live is not the right way,” Lodi answered.

At the end of the ceremony, Henshoher asked the children to raise their hands if they had a parent deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.  Quiet gasps could be heard from onlookers at the large number of tiny hands raised high in the air.

“I think that the bad guys shouldn’t live that way,” Samantha Hougland, 8, a Clarke student and daughter of a Soldier currently deployed to Afghanistan said.

“I think that my daddy is going to help win the war.”