ALLENDALE, Mich. (WOOD) — Allendale High School held a special ceremony at its varsity football game versus West Catholic High School Friday to remember the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the sacrifices made by first responders and those serving in the military.
The tribute honored those who lost their lives with a recorded speech providing history of the attacks. Players wore patriotic uniforms and American flags decorated the field.
Liam Reynolds, a football player and organizer, says it was important for the event to honor everyone who lost their lives and those who have served.
“The fact that we can still play football and have all the freedoms that we do today is who we’re honoring tonight,” Reynolds said.
Davina Mancilla, the junior class president and an organizer, wants younger people who were not alive when the attacks occurred to be informed.
“It’s extremely important because we need to know what happened as a nation and it’s especially important that the youth know, so that when they grow up they can just pass this on to their children,” Mancilla said. “So the lives that were lost that day and the people who helped during that day are just never forgotten.”
Lily DeGroot, the senior class president who also helped with the ceremony, says knowing about the terrorist attacks is important for the entire country.
“We obviously can’t forget our history. It’s what created us as people and as a nation so it’s very important for us to remember what our ancestors went through and just remember how we became who we are,” DeGroot said.
Troy VanderLaan, the principal of Allendale High School, says he is very proud of the students and their dedication to the tribute.
“We want to inform our students and the next generation with events like this, of course we will tackle those in school,” VanderLann said. “We also want our students to be a part of it and memorial events like this really help keep that memory alive.”
The event went beyond a tribute by raising more than $2,200 in just 60 seconds at the end of the first quarter.
The money will be donated to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
“We’re so thankful that we have these opportunities to raise funds and then donate to the veteran’s home that way we can take care of those that really took care of us,” VanderLaan said.