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9:47 PM Sun, Nov. 18th

Prescott High students display a flag for every victim

The Daily Courier/Nathaniel Kastelic
Brandi Heuer, left, and Dawn Heuer, both 15-year-old sophomore students at Prescott High School, pose Tuesday in front of the 2,977 American flags they placed around the flagpole to remember and honor the victims of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Daily Courier/Nathaniel Kastelic Brandi Heuer, left, and Dawn Heuer, both 15-year-old sophomore students at Prescott High School, pose Tuesday in front of the 2,977 American flags they placed around the flagpole to remember and honor the victims of Sept. 11, 2001.

PRESCOTT - Brandi and Dawn Heuer were only 9 years old on Sept. 11, 2001.

At the time, their parents home-schooled them with their other two quadruplet sisters. The four girls did not know why their mother and father were crying. They thought perhaps a family member died.

"That night, they sat us down at the table and told us something very bad happened," Dawn recalled.

Now, Dawn and Brandi are 15 and sophomores at Prescott High School. However, their first year at the school, they noticed something in their fellow classmates.

"We just thought last year, when we came to high school, no one really remembered 9/11," Brandi said.

The two sisters attended a conference this summer in Washington, D.C., where they learned about the "9/11 Never Forget Project."

Wanting to commemorate the victims of Sept. 11, as well as shed light on the day for their peers, the girls collected enough money to buy 2,977 miniature American flags for every victim who died in New York, Washington, D.C., and Somerset County, Pa.

On Tuesday morning, they displayed the 2,977 flags on the high school's front lawn and played host to a flag-raising ceremony. They also gave the Junior ROTC program at PHS an American flag with the names of every 9/11 victim. The girls received the flag from the Young Americans Foundation.

"I'm really proud to have done this. It just feels like such an accomplishment to have honored the people who died," Dawn said.

The girls arrived at school by 6:30 a.m. It took them an hour-and-a-half to set up the flags, which cost them $538. They began the search for money a month-and-a-half ago.

"We just called around to some local businesses and asked if they wanted to sponsor (the project)," Brandi said.

With the help of Prescott High's PTSA and the sponsoring businesses - MacMillan Construction Company, TDK Heating and Cooling, Iron Worker, Pro-Water, Prescott Lock and Safe, Pat's Custom Landscaping, the American Legion, the American Legion Color Guard, and Ponderosa Electric - the girls set up a fund to keep this tradition going every year in the future.

PHS Principal Totsy McCraley said she hopes this becomes an annual event, even after the girls graduate.

"Anytime I have any students take the initiative to do something as wonderful as this to honor American families, I'm not going to stand in the way," McCraley said.

She called the girls' ceremony "tasteful, dignified. The girls did a marvelous job."

She said they really drove the point home, which was to remember all of the victims of 9/11.

However, during the ceremony, Brandi pointed out 9/11 is more than a day of terror.

"We also need to remember all the soldiers that are fighting for our country," she said.

Both sisters feel "really good" about what they started at their school.

"We take a lot of pride in it," Dawn said.