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Seventh graders care for memorial flowers

Seventh graders from Aviano Middle School learned about September 11 by caring for Irises planted in honor of those lost. (Courtesy photo)

Seventh graders from Aviano Middle School learned about September 11 by caring for Irises planted in honor of those lost. (Courtesy photo)

Aviano Air Base, Italy -- Eighty-eight seventh graders tended to a 100-foot-long bed of irises in the Aviano Middle School courtyard Sept. 11 in honor of the day. 

Planted in September 2002 by the seventh and eighth grade class, the irises represent the lives of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001. Each year, the responsibility and privilege to care for the flowers is granted to the seventh graders. 

"We have a sense of pride in what we did to honor the victims," said John Murphy, seventh grade team leader. "[We'll remember this day] in the spring when the iris bloom." 

This year students weeded and watered the flower bed, cared for shrubs lining the bed and picked up trash and litter in the area. 

Afterwards students shared poems, stories, and reflections of what the day meant to them. Teachers shared the chronology of events and one teacher printed the names of more than 3,000 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001. The names reminded the students that not only adults perished that day, but children their age and younger also died.