SHERMAN - The playing of "Taps" is reserved for solemn occasions.
Charles Raven of Bugles Across America played the notes five times Tuesday - one for every notable event during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and once at the end of the day in memory of the firefighters and police officers who died while saving others in the attack's aftermath.
Students gathered around the school's half-staffed flag for a moment of silence at 8:46, followed by the sounds of Raven's bugle.
Jamestown Community College students, faculty, and staff gathered on campus at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday to observe the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and honor the memory of those whose lives were lost in the assault. Theresa Baginski, associate professor of Spanish and a major in the U.S. Army Reserve, organized the gathering and shared remarks along with JCC President Gregory T. DeCinque. Pictured above are Theresa Baginski, center, and JCC students Jamie Swanson and Josh Trace holding flag.
Students from Sherman Central School gather in remembrance of Sept. 11.
P-J photo by Remington Whitcomb
"Today we commemorate and recognize the 11th anniversary of a day that will live forever in the minds of all Americans," said Michael Ginestre, high school principal. "Today, Sherman Central School will recognize the events of that day through music. Sherman native and graduate Mr. Charles Raven of Bugles Across America will soon play the Star Spangled Banner to start today's events. At 8:46 a.m., the exact time American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, we will observe a moment of silence."
TIES TO TAPS
According to Ginestre, "Taps" has a powerful connection to Sherman. Taps was arranged in its present form by Daniel Butterfield, a Union Army brigadier general and Medal of Honor recipient who commanded the third Brigade of the first Division in the V Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac while at Harrison's Landing, Va., in July 1862. "Taps" was written to replace a previous French bugle call used to signal lights out. Butterfield's bugler, Oliver W. Norton of Sherman, was the first to sound the new call. Within months, "Taps" was used by both Union and Confederate forces. It was officially recognized by the United States Army in 1874.
As the students returned to their classrooms, Frank Warren played "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes.
Over the course of the day, Raven played "Taps" four more times: at 9:03 a.m. when United Airline Flight 175 struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center; at 9:37 a.m. when American Flight 77 hit the Pentagon; at 10:03 a.m. when passengers aboard United States Airlines Flight 93 crashed the plane in Shankesvile, Pa., and once more to recognize the hundreds of firefighters and police officers who gave their lives.
Many students at Tuesday's ceremony were too young to remember the attacks when they happened. However, three seniors - Breanna Stoddard, Danielle Reed and Julia Rater - offered their memories of the event.
"I wasn't in school the day it happened," Reed said. "I was young and it was difficult to understand. It seemed like a movie to me. As I've grown older and learned more about it, I've come to appreciate that knowledge. I feel bad today for the (elementary) students who don't really know what's going on. I thought it was sad in a way, that they can't truly understand."
"I was in first grade when it happened," Stoddard said. "I remember the school being locked down and being really scared because I didn't understand. I went home that night and my parents were visually upset. I'll never forget watching the towers go down on the television. I'll always remember that."
"I was also in first grade," Rater said. "(Our teacher) closed all the blinds, locked the doors and we sat underneath our desks. It was terrifying, but we really had no idea that was going on. I remember going home that day and being really confused about what had happened."
The three students went on to say that they felt the remembrance ceremony held by the school was a good way to commemorate the event.
"I thought the (ceremony) was very appropriate," Rater said. "The bagpipes and the bugle were very touching."
"It was really sweet that they (played 'Taps' and 'Amazing Grace')," Reed said. "It brought more emotion to the ceremony itself. I don't feel that it would have hit as hard if we didn't have the music to calm our minds and really focus what was going on."
"I found that the ceremony we had this morning was a very emotional experience," Stoddard said. "It almost brought tears to my eyes remembering everything and thinking about the moments of silence. When the bugles were played through the day, it was another reminder about what happened. I thought it was very appropriate."