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Appoquinimink raises 9/11 Remembrance Flag, encourages other state entities to do the same

Rachel Sawicki
Delaware Public Media
Middletown Junior ROTC cadets led the 9/11 remembrance flag raising ceremony at Middletown High

The Appoquinimink School District raised a 9/11 Remembrance Flag Friday morning, and celebrated a bill encouraging other districts to do the same.

Appoquinimink became Delaware’s first school district to raise 9/11 flags at every school in 2017. But Senate Bill 278, sponsored by State Sen. Stephanie Hansen, encourages other state government buildings to display the 9/11 flag at half mast beneath the American flag each year on or around the day.

“The whole idea was that we have a generation of young people right now that didn't grow up with the events of 9/11 as a personal experience," Hansen said. "So it's up to us, those of us that do have those experiences, to impart to them our understanding of the importance of that day, and pass that onto them so that they know what happened.”

Students in K-12 now were born after the events, and most, like Middletown senior ROTC cadet Elijah Rue, don’t have an emotional connection to the day.

“My understanding of 9/11 is that, because of 9/11, our national security level has gotten much higher," Rue said. "9/11 is the reason the TSA exists and stuff like that, too.”

Rue notes there were also cultural impacts, like stigmas labeling Muslims and people of Middle Eastern decent as terrorists.

Middletown Junior ROTC cadets led the 9/11 remembrance flag raising ceremony at Middletown High Friday morning. ROTC Senior aerospace science instructor Scott Boehne says he tries to paint a picture of what the day was like when teaching his students.

"I hope they internalize it," Boehne said. "I hope they realize the importance of it and can really conceptualize what it would have been like to go through that, you know, your home city. I've walked the streets every day and this building came. It was unbelievable that it actually came down. Even though the plane went into it and hit it, the burning building and people jumping. That's traumatic enough, but then to see the buildings actually fall.”

The flag recognizes the 2,977 people that died during the attacks, the first responders, and the Pentagon’s “organized protection of our freedom.” Hansen says American democracy is still under attack, both beyond and within the borders.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.