Send in the kids.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 they were a remedy that helped soothe souls at a fire station in University Place.
That morning, kindergarteners from Charles Wright Academy were scheduled to visit the station.
After news of the terrorist attacks, school officials called the station, assuming they would have to reschedule their visit for another, less traumatic day. But firefighters insisted the kids come, and welcomed them with open arms. The children helped lighten the mood that day for the local first responders who, like many Americans, were grieving the losses from the attacks.
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It was the start of a beloved annual tradition for the school. Each year, kindergarteners from Charles Wright make their pilgrimage to the firefighters close to the Sept. 11 anniversary. They were there again Thursday for their first field trip of the new school year.
“Firefighters and police officers are rock stars to kindergartners,” said Charles Wright kindergarten teacher Karen Burdick. “The children walk around the station with wide eyes, taking it all in. It’s their opportunity to see the life of a firefighter inside a fire station. And seeing the fire trucks and medic unit, along with all the equipment, is fascinating to 5-year-olds.”
“September 11 is a day of remembrance for public safety as a whole,” says West Pierce Fire & Rescue Chief Jim Sharp. “It’s a time to reflect, but also a time to connect with our community. This tradition is one we are excited to continue.”