Ho'okele Staff | Sep 15, 2012
Story and photo by MC2 Tiarra Fulgham
Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Detachment Hawaii
Students and staff of Hickam Elementary School along with firefighters from the Federal Fire Department marched around the lawn in front of Freedom Tower at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) for the fourth annual 9/11 Remembrance Parade honoring the fallen victims of the 9/11 attacks.
Before the youngsters headed out for their march, the Radford High School marching band played the National Anthem.
The Recruit Officer Training Corps color guard led the students in their walk as they waved flags, shouted “U-S-A” and shook hands with service members and thanked them for their service.
“Being a dad of a kindergartener, I am extremely proud to see all the kids out here on this beautiful day,” said Maj. Craig Swierzbin of 13th Air Force.
“It makes me feel really humbled just to know most of them don’t know what this day is about, but the fact they are out here learning about it. They are the future of a great nation. Hopefully learning about it at this young age, they will learn more about the lessons we have learned since then and make our great nation better,” he said.
The children were sup ported and cheered on by parents and friends along the sidelines.
“Honoring the fallen victims who lost their lives in the terrorists attacks, and also recognizing the service men and women who have defended our freedom ever since that day, helps us in our busy lives reflect on the moment, kind of brings us back to that time, and for the kids, many who were not even born yet,” said John Erickson, principal of Hickam Elementary School.
Even as the kids became tired after their march, their spirits were still high as they ended the assembly singing “God Bless America.”
“It was a great day. Everyone had a good time. There were a lot of smiling faces, a lot of happy kids, a lot of American flags flying,” said Erickson. “You can’t ask for a better day.”