DANVILLE — Nearly a decade ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, the United States suffered a heinous attack that caused the death of thousands and galvanized the nation.
As the tenth anniversary of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 and the attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center approaches, people across the country are making sure the younger generation understands the events and the resulting heroism of victims and rescue workers alike.
Firefighters and paramedics from the Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District recently visited Danville and East Knox elementary schools to conduct 9/11 assemblies for all students in grades kindergarten through grade six.
Rick Lanuzza, firefighter/paramedic, said it was important to the department to talk with the students and help them understand what happened on that fateful day.
“Three hundred forty-three of New York’s finest [firefighters] died that day,” he said. “Several thousand people perished that day or as a result of injuries sustained that day. I think it’s a worthwhile story that we can tell them. The courage and honor displayed that day should make us proud to be Americans.”
Speaking for the other firefighters and paramedics who had accompanied him to Danville, Lanuzza began his talk by asking pupils what they knew about the events of 9/11 and the aftermath.
“It happened because a big bully was mad at us,” one fourth-grader said. “They thought they could make us afraid,” said another.
“That’s right,” responded Lanuzza, “Someone tried to bully us around and we proved we couldn’t be bullied. We fought back and we are still fighting back.”