Originally Published: September 11, 2008 11:50 p.m.
PRESCOTT - Seven years ago, they were in elementary school. Thursday, they were high school students memorializing an event they were too young to understand fully.
On Sept. 11, 2001, a terrorist attack on the United States killed 2,977 innocent victims.
The image burned into most Americans' brains is the collapse of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers after two airplanes flew into them. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
The 40 passengers on Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to avert similar devastation. The passengers rushed the cockpit and the plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, Penn.
The Heuer quadruplets - Dawn Marie, Ashley, Brandi and Carley - and their family, co-sponsored the "9/11: Never Forget Project" at Prescott High School. Young America's Foundation was the other co-sponsor.
Starting at 6 a.m. Thursday morning, the sisters placed 2,977 American flags on the PHS front lawn, one for each victim.
"The victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, should be honored," Brandi said. "We have put together this memorial as a fitting tribute."
The Heuer sisters are Prescott High School juniors. This is the second year the girls co-sponsored the memorial project.
"We decided to do it again because of the way it made us feel the first time," Dawn Marie said.
The sisters were 9-year-old third graders seven years ago.
Dawn Marie said she remembers getting ready for school and not knowing why her mother was crying.
"At 9 years old, I didn't think anyone could be so evil," she said.
Thursday's ceremony also recognized the service and dedication of local law enforcement officers and firefighters.
Prescott Police Department Lt. Andy Reinhardt said he appreciated the school and the community making the effort to present the memorial for the Sept. 11 victims.
"I also appreciated the students recognizing the police and fire departments," Reinhardt said.
Sept. 11, 2001, was a difficult day for Prescott residents Eleanor and Arthur Roth.
Originally from New York, they watched the events unfold, all the time worrying about their daughter working in Manhattan.
"It took her all day to get home, and our daughter-in-law in Brooklyn was frantic. We were so afraid for our daughter," Eleanor Roth said. "The world just changed. It was so terrible. We all came together, but it seems we are drifting apart again. We need to have these ceremonies so we do remember."
As a first grader, Amber Wheeler was too young to understand when her father told her planes had hit the Twin Towers.
"I was too young to worry about it. Now, it is so sad and when I look back, it is terrible and scary," the PHS freshman said.
Fellow freshman Rachel Sheldon remembers her mother bringing her and her brother in to watch the television.
"I didn't know what was going on. I was in shock that an airplane would hit a building. Now, I am in awe thinking how terrible it was," she said.
The PHS Aerospace Science Leadership Academy conducted the flag ceremony. After the pledge of allegiance and "Star Spangled Banner," the color guard lowered the flags to half-staff in accordance with Patriot Day.
ASLA Commander, Cadet Major Elaina Rooper was living about 100 miles from New York City when the terrorists attacked.
She said the teachers waited until the end of the day to tell the students what had happened. She went to the restroom and saw two girls crying.
"Their father worked in the Twin Towers and died that day. Those two girls will be what I always remember about that day," she said.
PHS also sponsored a campus-wide moment of silence at 9:11 a.m. in honor of the victims.
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