T. H. Rogers Honors First Responders Days Before Anniversary of 9/11

Ceremony recognizes police officers and firefighters

September 09, 2011
First Responders Slideshow

Many of the children at T. H. Rogers School had not been born when planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania. Now, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, many of the students know about the terrorist attacks and the heroes who risked their lives to help others.

T.H. Rogers Principal David Muzyka says, “If there is a huge legacy of 9/11, it is that there is a whole group of people whose chosen path has been to step in front, to take charge, and to keep us safe. That was a huge lesson of 9/11 that we continue to re-teach (the children.)”

On Thursday, September 8, the school held a ceremony to honor first responders. While it wasn’t directly intended to mark the anniversary of the terror attacks, it was an opportunity for students and staff to express their gratitude to members of the HISD Police Department and Houston Police and Fire Departments. “We owe them a lot and we want to show them our appreciation,” Muzyka says.

The children dressed in red, white, and blue for the ceremony. They waved American flags as the chorus sang America and some of the school’s students with hearing impairments used sign language to communicate the song’s lyrics. Houston police officers and firefighters were invited to introduce themselves before students pinned a small American flag on the lapel of each of the first-responders’ uniforms.

Michael Marino, an emergency medical technician with the Houston Fire Department says, “The kids’ enthusiasm was exceptional. They were all high-fiving and stomping their feet.” Students say they were proud to honor the emergency crews. As first-grader Zoe Springsteen puts it, “We like police officers because they take away the bad robbers and firefighters put out the fires so nobody gets burned.”