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GSMST Students Remember 9/11 Through Music, Art

Gwinnett School of Mathematics Science and Technology holds "Tribute to Resilience."

Jack Goode, 15, was just in kindergarten when terrorists struck the World Trade Center in 2001, but can remember exactly what he was doing. "I was eating a bag of Lay's potato chips," he said. "It was in the middle of snack time and my mom had come to check me out of school." He and several other students channeled their feelings about the tragedy through artwork and music Thursday night at the in Lawrenceville.

Goode's design featured the Lay's logo with the Twin Towers burning behind it. “It came to me that it could be a metaphor because everyone in America knows Lay's," he said. "Having the twin towers in the background shows how it affected America as a whole, whether it’s the adults that can vividly remember it or the kids that were eating chips and didn’t really know what was going on.”

The "Tribute to Resilience," put on by the fine arts department, also included poems, speeches and music. The band and orchestra performed as well as the U.S. Air National Guard Rock Band "Space-A"Gwinnett County Firefighters from station 20, next door to the school, attended as part of a tribute to the local heroes and first responders.

Principal, Dr. Jeff Matthews, led the crowd of parents, students and teachers in a moment of silence before welcoming them. "I say it all the time... culture triumphs over any tragedy," Matthews said.

Jessica Allison and Andrew Wirt, both 17, were in second grade when the Twin Towers fell. "I remember after that, the pledge was more important at school and we started singing patriotic songs. There was more community," said Allison. They used their artwork to reflect how America came together. "Let us stand, let us show the world that the circumstance of yesterday never determines our decisions tomorrow," Wirt urged those in attendance.

The tribute is a prelude to the school's constitution week - next week- when students learn about the foundations of the United States. "This tribute to resilience provides a relevance to what they’ve been learning and will be learning over the next week," said Matthews.

The students say although the events ten years ago are still fresh on everyone's minds, it's important to move on and demonstrate the true meaning of resilience. "It's a chance to start the healing process," said Wirt. "I think it’s important to show that we remember it, but that we remember it in a different light. We take a step forward."

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