Opinion: Can’t We Do More?

It was a huge surprise for me when I got to school on Monday, September 11. We had no moment of silence in the morning. This is my first year of high school, so I thought maybe that the high school waits until the time the first plane hit to have their moment of silence--like the middle school.
As the day went on, nothing happened. In fact, the only hint that it was 9/11, was the fact that the words “ September 11, 2017” were written on some of the boards. Many of my ninth grade friends asked each other if they had somehow missed the moment of silence. The answer was always no.

It wasn’t until the very end of the day, right before the bell rang, that there was an announcement. The voice from the speaker said “ To honor 9/11, we are going to have a moment of silence”. I put my head down and closed my eyes. Before I could take even three deep breaths, the speaker turned on and and quickly blurted out the words, “ Thank you and have a good day”.

I have always gone to Lampeter-Strasburg School District. I have always loved L-S so much, that when my family decided it was time to move, I made it essential that we found a house in the district so that I could continue being educated here.

All Americans know about 9/11. It was one of the most significant dates in United States history. L-S has always done very good at honoring this day. Every grade shares a moment of silence on this day. In the elementary schools, the moment of silence happens first thing. In middle school, we have an entire minute of silence at the exact time the first plane hit. I thought high school would be the same way.

This irritated me. Instantly a thought came to me, "Can’t we do more?"

9/11 was so tragic. 2,996 lives were lost that day. Can’t we spare more than two seconds to honor these people? Can’t we stop education for just one minute, so that we can let families who lost loved ones know that their loved ones are being thought of, or is school only for learning history now, and not honoring it? Can’t we do more?

My teachers have always taught me to respect others, and I do. Because of this, the 9/11 school announcement confused me. If I am supposed to respect everyone, shouldn't I respect the people who died too? Shouldn’t I be doing more to respect them than being quiet for two seconds? Shouldn’t the school that taught me and is teaching me to have respect, be doing just a little bit more to show respect?

The tiniest things can sometimes make the biggest difference. I hope that next year on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, we have a few seconds more of silence. A moment that does not happen at teh last minute, but first thing.

I hope that next year when I hear the words “shhh… we are going to have a moment of silence to honor the 9/11 victims…” that the moment feels more like a moment that has time for reflection, and less like a split second. I hope that this amazing school district I grew up in, can become even more amazing by doing more.

--By Riley Rinehard, LS News columnist

The opinions of the stated author does not constitute an official position of the Lampeter-Strasburg School District or of the LS News editorial board.

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