Local News

Raleigh Students Gather To Pray After Terrorist Attacks

Posted September 19, 2001 11:54 a.m. EDT

— A lot of students left for school early Wednesday morning to attend a special event. "See You At The Flagpole" is a time when many students meet under the flagpole before school to pray. This year, attendance was higher in some places after the terrorist acts last week.

Last Tuesday's deadly hijackings hit a nerve with many young people.

That is one reason why hundreds of students gathered beneath the flagpole at Athens Drive High School Wednesday morning. Together, they are trying to heal together by finding comfort in God.

"See you at the Flagpole" is a yearly event where students pray about a variety of things.

"It is for unity in our school and for people to show love to each other and for the victims in New York also," student Abby McCallum said.

The victims in New York are why so many students came out Wednesday.

"Oh my gosh, the turnout was incredible," said Justin Blulmay.

Students not only prayed for the victims and their families. The 19 hijackers were also included on their list.

"We want everybody to come to Jesus and as hard as that may be, we even want those who committed these acts in New York to come to Jesus. We even want them to have a relationship with God some day," said Blulmay.

At Athens Drive, there may be proof students are looking for answers in prayer. The students paint a message on a rock, and it usually changes daily. The current message has been in place for a week -- "prayer heals the heart."

"See You at the Flagpole" is organized entirely by students. The first event attracted 45,000 students in 1990. Last year, an estimated 3 million students participated.