16 September, 2011 (All day)
The sounds of honor and respect, could be felt as the audience stood, while a color guard of Cub and Boy Scouts, presented the colors of the state and national flags. The voices of the kindergarten children recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Still standing, the sound of “The Star Spangled Banner” could be heard bold and clear throughout the gymnasium as it was sung by Morgan resident, Robert Peterson, at Mountain Green Elementary School, on September 9th.
Mr. Peterson also was the narrator for the program, “I Love America”, presented to the community.
Those who attended could feel the spirit of remembrance, as the program was presented reflecting the events that follow that day, 10 years ago, when America was under attack by terrorists, on September 11, 2001, the day that literally rocked our world and our hearts.
The songs and narration arranged by Classroom Classics were performed by the individual grades. Beginning with the First Grade Students sang a Patriotic Medley of songs: “My Country Tis of Thee”; “God Bless America”; “America, The Beautiful” and “God Bless The USA”, before they were through, they were wearing white hats and waving American flags . Introducing the segments of the program by narration, it gave purpose and meaning behind the words of each song.
The Fifth Grade Students sang, ”They Broke Our Hearts But Not Our Spirit” with the chorus ringing through the gym, “They broke our hearts... but not our spirit . They can’t destroy democracy! We’re stronger now... And stand united. We will defend our liberty.”
The next song from the same choir, sang “The Skyline of New York” part of the song mentioned,”Out in the harbor is ‘Lady Liberty’,she represents a peaceful land and our Democracy!” One of the fifth grade girls was dressed as the Statue of Liberty.
The Third Grade Students continued to tell how this country ached with “Our Lady Liberty Weeps” and how to make life better by the advice in this song, “Fighting Fear With Friendship” with holding and waving flags from around the world, with the verse’s message “There’s a way to conquer fear, it’s time to get along, so hate will disappear....Fighting fear with friendship, it is our Nation’s call, our President has asked the ‘kids’, to be a friend to all! Fighting fear with friendship, there’s letters we can send. Tell the ‘kids’ throughout the world, we want to be their friend!”
Some of our local heroes had been invited to come and stand as the Fourth Grade Students paid tribute to them with “American Heroes.” They stood at both sides of the stage,and during the song the American Flags were draped around each one’s shoulders, as if to give each one a hug and special thanks. Part of the first verse says “To save someone’s life, you put yourself in ‘harms way’, and that is the task...That you do every day!”
Grateful for the school for honoring American heroes, Fire Chief Rich said “the program was outstanding...very good tribute.”
Those present at the afternoon performance included Morgan County Fire Chief David Rich, Morgan County Fire Department: Kevin Waller, Hillarie Waller, Tyler Waller, Boyd Carrigan, Dee Glauser, and Jeff Smith, of the military.
Also honored were Chris Miller, from the Layton Fire Department and Garrett Pantone of the military, at the morning performance. They were all surprised and taken back to have the flag put around them.
The other song also mentioned “many heroes in the world, risk their lives defending freedom”, the Fourth Grade Students sang, the song, “America Be Strong” part of one verse: “America hold on, a bright new day is dawning, America be strong ,America be strong!” as the students waved American Flags.
“My Country Medley” was sung by the Second Grade Students. The medley was combined songs of “This Land is Your Land”, “Your Land And My Land”, and “This is My Country” that were familiar to most of the audience. Holding colored hearts created a great visual to “United We Stand”, there were red hearts, white hearts, and blue hearts, the chorus “We’re a blend of many cultures, and all religions too.. ...We must respect our differences, as we reach out our hand. For we are all Americans ...United we will stand.
As the entire school was coming in and lining the walls of the gym, Mr. Peterson finished his portion of the program with a quote by President George W . Bush, “we will not tire, we will not fail”.
Then announced the closing song, “I Love America”. The last part of the chorus,”I love America, the homeland of the free,” then the last verse “We stand united all as one defending our liberty, and honor those who fight to keep us safe from harm, protecting our right to be free.”
Lynette Jensen is a fourth grade teacher at Mountain Green. Mrs. Jensen helped to organize the music for each grade and help direct the choirs with the assistance of the other grade teachers. Mrs Jensen pointed out that these students were not even born when 9/11 happened,”only a fourth of the students knew about September 11th.”
Mrs. Jensen said for the music of the program go to the website classroomclassics.com.
“It’s amazing, the kids had only two weeks to practice and learn the songs,” commented fifth grade teacher, Kathy Nelson.