Twenty years ago today Redding Elementary School, as well as many schools across the nation, were dismissed early. The power to the school was cut — we were running off emergency generators — and Kathleen Kelly, the principal, dismissed the school via megaphone.
After getting off the bus, I remember coming home and sitting down in front of my TV in my little wooden rocking chair, my mum turned on the TV and saying “Watch this. This is history.” Little did we know the devastation that would unfold that morning. In the aftermath, our community came together for a prayer vigil.
When it came around to the ten-year anniversary of Patriot Day, I decided to step up and team up with the then First Selectwoman Natalie Ketchum to organize a weekend of service and remembrance, with the boy scout troop. We were able to complete several service projects around town and then come together as a community to host a memorial.
Now I’m back in Redding, twenty years to the day — ten years after that weekend — to still pay tribute. That is the spirit of 9/12, coming together regardless of background. That is what makes this town, this state, and this nation special.
No matter where I am, I’ll always be fighting for my hometown cause that’s what we do in Redding: We have a deep sense of community and look out for each other.