Fenton — Many still pause for at least a moment to remember where they were and what they were doing the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. 

   Most adults can recall the moment at the time of the attacks, but how do the nations’ youngest commemorate events they didn’t live through?

   At State Road Elementary School, all 455 students gathered around the flag in the parking lot for a 9/11 memorial ceremony at 9 a.m.

   Principal Barry Tiemann led the ceremony, which included a brief speech, flag ceremony and singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”

   Tiemann spoke about the historic event, noting that the terrorist attacks happened long before these children were born. The students listened quietly while squinting in the morning sun.

   He urged students to appreciate members of the military and named specifically veterans who work for Fenton schools. He also mentioned first responders like police and firefighters. “Give them a big hug and thank them for their service,” Tiemann said.

   He also urged the young students to focus on at least one small act of service today, whether getting the mail or helping around the house. “Let’s focus on serving others today,” he said.

   After his brief speech, they recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and Tiemann along with four students lowered the American flag, folded it, raised another flag, and then lowered it to half-staff.

   The children who participated with him were CJ Hyder, 11, Jackson Martin, 10, Landry LaFontaine, 10, and Tommy Chanter, 10.

   After the flag ceremony, they sang “The Star Spangled Banner.”

   Tiemann said the ceremony leads to child-appropriate discussions in class about the terrorist attack. “It definitely leads to classroom conversations,” he said.

   Tiemann has conducted the ceremony for the 12 years he’s been at the school.

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