Students of Westerville Central and South high schools took time Friday to remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Westerville South High School displayed 3,000 tiny American flags in front of the building to commemorate the 3,000 lives lost on 9/11.
The student group Young Americans for Freedom organized the effort. They meet every Wednesday throughout the school year in the classroom of science teacher and club adviser Beth Eddy.
"We're hoping that people will remember or reread the stories of courage, self-sacrifice and love among those who perished that day. We believe that 9/11 highlights the value and sacredness of human life," Eddy said.
At Westerville Central's annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Friday, the entire student body gathered in the cafeteria/commons area as well as up the stairs and into the second-floor hallways to watch in silence as an honor guard consisting of 15 to 30 policemen, firefighters and military personnel carried a flag from one end of the building to the other.
"It is a way for all of us to come together as a Warhawk family and honor all of those that lost their lives on that terrible day as well as those that worked to rebuild our country," said Central Principal Todd Spinner.
The ceremony that began in 2006 came about organically, Spinner said.
"The ceremony started when I was having conversations with members of my social studies department and we were discussing ways in which we could look at how to remember the terrible tragedy in 2001 and how we can honor those that lost their lives and those that worked to save lives," he said.
The first year the ceremony was held outside along Mount Royal Avenue but since was moved inside to take weather concerns out of the equation.
Every year, the ceremony grows, because more and more people want to be involved and help to honor those who lost their lives and also pay tribute to the first responders of Sept. 11, 2001, he said.
"Our students do a great job of paying tribute to all those men and women present in uniform on that day, and talking with them once the ceremony is over," he said.
"Many times it is a simple handshake and a 'Thank you.' "