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Cary students mark 7th anniversary of terror attacks

Posted September 11, 2008

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— Cary hosted four musical performances around the town Thursday as part of a nationwide program, "September 11th Commemoration: A Time of Remembrance and Reflection."

High school students took part by participating in a series of musical tributes. It was part of Cary's Sister Cities program that promotes peace around the world.

The students were in elementary school when the attacks happened, but many of them felt the impact. On a day of remembrance, the concert set the stage for moments of reflection.

“I was 9 years old,” student Kayee Au recalled.

Au lived across the Hudson River, in New Jersey, on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Some of my friends lost their parents. So just being a fourth-grader, to see my friends go through that, is something I won't forget,” Au said.

From musical tributes to the spoken word, the central theme of the commemoration was peace – which is a key part of the Sister Cities initiative.

“Sister Cities is about person-to-person and community-to-community,” Ginnylou Laughlin, with the Sister Cities Commission, said.

The genesis for the Sister Cities program actually began on Sept. 11, 1956, after a White House summit. Then, President Dwight Eisenhower encouraged Americans to use people-to-people diplomacy in the name of peace.

For Au and her generation, America's search for peace since the Sept. 11 attacks inspired her own poetry of peace.

“You little ones, though small in size, you hold the biggest hearts. And know that in this broken world, you also share a part,” Au read from her poetry.

“To know that one song is sung all over the world today means that we do share a spirit of unity,” Lyman Collins, town cultural arts manager, said.

Cary's four sister cities are in Canada, Taiwan, France and Ireland. Each sent a message of peace that was read at Thursday's Sept. 11 concerts.

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