A Message of Hope and Resilience

On Sept. 11, 2001, our nation came together in the wake of tragedy. Many people became heroes that day while many became memories. Today, we honor the brave first responders who rushed to action, the everyday citizens who jumped in the face of danger and those who lost their lives.

Yesterday, Norfolk Collegiate held three age-appropriate programs to help put into context the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, for our students, but to also honor being a community.
At the lower school, they unveiled the Freedom Flag and at the middle and upper schools, they went into additional details about the day and what it meant for our nation.

“With the 20th anniversary here, there has been a lot of coverage in the news and on television regarding those events. It’s important that as a nation, we recognize these moments in time—preserving and acknowledging these perspectives…is what binds people together,” said Head of School Scott Kennedy. “Twenty years ago, tomorrow is an important day for our country, our school and a community that we are a part of. These are the things that connect a community and people to each other.”

Kennedy provided a timeline of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, for students.
“There are occasions when people run away. That day, people ran to all three sites,” said Kennedy. “That day changed the course of the world. The day that the worst in humanity brought out the best in humanity. In the weeks that followed we began to see the size and scope of what happened for our country.”

He also discussed how Collegiate responded to the events of that day. “Cell phones began to ring, and parents began calling the school,” said Kennedy. “We continued the school day to the best of our ability. We gathered all middle and upper school students in the Watt-Baker Gymnasium, and we tried to inform them. The teachers did what they do every day…they took care of you, the students, and students took care of each other, and the institution took care of the community. The day was later marked as a national day of service to honor those who perished, but also to remember those who ran toward danger.”
Kennedy then challenged students to perform an act of service for their community. “What I ask each if you in September is to do an act of service, whether it’s in your neighborhood, in church or for a friend or a neighbor. Think of something that you can do to make your school better, your community better to connect you to your community.”

“It’s important for us to remember the events and the people who came before us,” said Charlene Loope, head of middle school, when discussing ways in which we honor those before people and events.

One such is the Freedom Flag, which has become our national symbol of remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001.

To commemorate the anniversary, Collegiate raised the Freedom Flag, in all three programs. The Freedom Flag was adopted by Govs. Mark Warner and Ralph Northam as one of Virginia’s flags. Sketched by a Richmond restaurant owner to honor the day, the Freedom Flag is part of the Freedom Flag Foundation whose mission is to support the educational efforts of teaching future generations about the tragic events and lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, so future generations never forget.

Middle/Upper School Campus

Lower School Campus