Friday, November 09, 2001

Hamilton students join their peers across nation in song

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        HAMILTON — As the first few notes of “God Bless America” began precisely at 1:30 p.m., 10-year-old Jared Hanks stood up a bit straighter.

[photo] First-graders in Hamilton (from left) Jamie Shope, 6, Ella Conwell, 6, and Destiny Harrison, 7, sang “God Bless America”.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
        He joined classmates at Lincoln Elementary School, who had gathered in front of the school Thursday to show support and unity in the face of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They and students at 15 other Hamilton schools sang the song at the same time as other students at schools across the country as part of the “United We Sing: From Sea to Shining Sea” project.

        Teachers who are members of an international e-mail list sponsored by Music K-8 magazine and Plank Road Publishing organized the event. The idea was inspired by members of Congress who sang on the steps of the Capitol after the terrorist attack, said Tari McKee, Lincoln's music teacher.

        “We had representatives from every state participating,” Ms. McKee said.

        Singing the song together was important to Jared, whose voice grew louder and stronger as he sang.

        “We were representing everyone who died in the New York accident,” Jared said. “The people who died would be proud of me.”

        Brandi Hornsby, 10, said she liked singing the patriotic song, even though she can't reach all the high notes.

        “I liked it because it supports our country and I knew all the words,” Brandi said.

        Following the rendition of the song, red, white and blue balloons were released into the sky.

        The school will continue its celebration today with two assemblies honoring the country's veterans. The program will include a short musical as well as the reading of student-written essays and poems and a display of artwork. More than 400 guests are expected to join the children.


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