Berta Weathersbee Elementary School recognized Sept. 11 in a special way. All the staff and students wore red, white and blue; a special rendition of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ was played for morning announcements and the American flag was flown at half staff.
But perhaps the most significant part of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, were experienced by fifth grade students. Although these 10 and 11 year old students were not even born at the time of the 2001 crisis, many had heard about the twin towers. However, they were surprised to learn that in September 2001, Berta Weathersbee Elementary staff and students sent a banner to New York City that was displayed near the Ground Zero work sight.
As part of Jason Willis’ Social Studies class, Eddie Sosebee was a guest speaker to the fifth grade students, providing a presentation and personal experiences while he spent five weeks after the Sept. 11 attack at Ground Zero. Mr. Sosebee worked for the federal government as part of a team from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The photos provided insight to the mass of destruction that was left after this tragic event, and the people involved during the four month phase of removing the huge beams that were left twisted in a massive pile.
Students learned of the many government and public agencies that were represented at Ground Zero, all part of the efforts of the country coming together to assist New York City. These professions were recognized as part of a career cluster, which is now part of the curriculum for Georgia students in grades first through fifth.
While the photos in the presentation depicted the devastation and turmoil of that day, their faces beamed with pride to see their school name on a banner hanging over a bridge for all to see. Sosebee said the banner was displayed for a month and no ones knows where it ended up, but staff are hopeful that it will show up in a museum there. However, one thing is for sure: the people of New York City knew of an elementary school in LaGrange that sent their support.