Sue Kiesewetter reports:
Paul Caito won’t ever forget the 9/11 terrorist attacks 11 years ago.
And he doesn’t want his son to, either.
It’s one reason why the Kings High School parent volunteered Tuesday to spend his day overseeing a group of teenagers as they planted 10 trees and 60 bushes and did other landscaping chores at their school.
Sharon Nursery partnered with the district to provide the materials even as the owner’s son worked alongside 19 classmates planting, weeding and spreading 24 yards of mulch on school landscaping beds.
It was one of nine projects the seniors could sign up for as the school’s participation in the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
After attending a morning ceremony at the school that included a moment of silence and a history lesson, the students were sent to their destinations for four to five hours of work.
The daylong projects included framing the inside of three Habitat for Humanity homes in Hamilton, packing eyeglasses in Mason and repackaging donated goods for Mathew 25: Ministries in Blue Ash.
“I think it’s extremely important to remember. These seniors were in the first grade when the attacks happened,” Caito said. “While they heard about it and have studied it, they did not experience it the way we did. This brings focus to that day and what it means.”
The Kings project was one of several remembrances or projects across the region marking the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
In Lebanon, a monument was dedicated at 9:58 a.m., the precise moment the south tower of the World Trade Center began crumbling in New York after being attacked by a plane 11 years ago.
In West Chester Township, the day was remembered at Chesterwood Village with a display, ceremony and patriotic songs.
At Fairfield South Elementary School, police and firefighters joined children as a new flag was raised and patriotic songs were sung.
And in Newport, the names of those who perished at the World Trade Center were memorialized in a ceremony at the World Peace Bell.
“I’ve lived in Kings all my life,’’ said senior Brady Vanover. “It feels good giving back something bigger than me.’’
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