Local News

School Pep Rally Takes On New Meaning In Wake Of Attacks

Posted September 18, 2001 6:22 a.m. EDT

— Pep rallies at schools these days are taking on new meaning. At one Raleigh middle school, the cheering is for more than just a game.

With flags in hand, some 1,200 students at Durant Road Middle School filed onto the football field for a pep rally, but it was not to raise school spirit before a big game. The rally was designed to lift the American spirit.

"This is our land, this is our country and we're not going to let other people take it away from us," Benton said.

Sending a message of strength and unity was Principal Tom Benton's goal. He said last week's attacks were hard on everyone, but now it is time to move on.

"We've gone through a week of mourning both here at school and in their homes, and so today was to be an upbeat celebration of living in this nation," he said.

The students sang patriotic songs, and showed their patriotism in their faces. A "unity circle" around the track rounded out the event. It gave students a chance to draw on each other's strengths.

"It shows all of the world that we are strong in what we do and that we will stand together against all the terrorists and all bad people," said student Alex Lindsey.

"I think it's nice that we're showing we can stand tall. That's what the American spirit is all about," said student Sean Sorcic.

Seventh-graders at Durant Road Middle are also raising money for the American Red Cross. So far, they have collected $3,200.