Jim Thorpe students remembered the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks with a community program held in the high school auditorium.
The program was hosted by the high school history club. Jim Thorpe History teacher and history club advisor Christopher Holub was one of the speakers.
"It is important that we teach our children about these events, and we always will," Holub said. "But tonight we want to talk about healing and hope. Tonight we focus on honoring those we have lost, but also dealing with the grief and moving on from it."
Holub spoke about visiting the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, where The World Trade Center was located, and how it has become a place of "grief and reflection."
"It is also a place of healing and rebirth. On the site is a pear tree, now known as the Survivor Tree. It was planted in the 1970's, survived the collapse of the towers somehow, and was nursed back to life and replanted on the grounds," Holub added.
Holub said he felt transformed while standing at the Ground Zero transformed site.
"It is now the 9/11 memorial, now in the inspiring shadow of the almost complete Freedom Tower," Holub said.
High School Principal Thomas Lesisko, who welcomed the students, parents, and community, remembered the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93.
"As we move from shock, through anger and sadness, we begin the process of restoration. I ask that we take a moment to pause in this time of remembrance and reflect in our own lives the memories of those that perished and for those that survived with horrific physical and emotional wounds," said Lesisko. "For these survivors build strength in each and every one of us. They provide inspiration for us all."
Lesisko recited a poem written by students in a New York classroom, one year after the events of 9/11. The poem was called, "List of 'Don't Forgets' and 'Remembers'."
During the program, the documentary film titled, "Rebirth" was shown. It follows five people – Nicholas Chirls, Tim Brown, Ling Young, Tanya Villanueva Tepper, and Brian Lyons – who were hurt due to the attacks on the World Trade Center.
"These people have been interviewed once a year since 2001," Holub said of the film. "They give us a story you have never seen before. It follows these five people over time, which allows them to grieve, cope, heal, and find hope and healing."
While the film follows these five people in their journey of healing, it also follows the rise of Freedom Tower.
Members of the Jim Thorpe History Club, including sophomores Lauren VanEssendelft, Erin Kelly and Elizabeth Strauss, and juniors Jasmine Strohl and Brandon Huffman, each spoke about the five people featured in the film.
History Club President Bronson Ford, a senior, honored and thanked all first responders, police, fire fighters, EMTs, servicemen and women, and veterans for their hard work and sacrifices.
The program ended with the ringing of 12 memorial chimes and a moment of silent meditation.
Featured at the program were members of Penn Forest Fire Company #1.
Also featured was W. Allen Bostdorff, the Security Director for the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), whose office was located across the street from the South Tower of the World Trade Center. He spoke to people after the program about his experiences on 9/11 while helping to evacuate his work building.
The History Club had a display featuring pictures, articles, documents, books, an artifact – a piece of the World Trade Center – and timeline of the events of 9/11. Also on display was a written recollection of that day by Bostdorff.
The program also featured music by student Alex Haggerty and the Jim Thorpe Choir.
Those in attendance were led in the Pledge of Allegiance, "The Star Spangled Banner", and a moment of silent meditation.