The students caucus from Hawaii, Guam, Rota (CNMI), and Japan took time to remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and reflect on the impact that day have had on their lives.
These historical events are the inspiration behind the R.I.S.E (Responsibility Increases Student Excellence) program campaign, launched by the Pacific Regional Training Institute's student caucus. The student caucus of Hawaii, Japan, Guam, and Rota chose one of their prevention and awareness programs to sponsor the campaign to remember the victims and heroes who died during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
For the school on Rota, the Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja student caucus commemorated 9/11, the event they were too young to remember, by saying a silent prayer for the victims and heroes who perished during the terrorist attacks.
“This national event has reminded us, that we cannot take anything for granted,” said PRTI director Capt. Edward Maratita Jr. “This is important for the school children to know and understand the events and be aware of how they are shaping the nation and the region.”
“Even though many of these children weren't alive when 9/11 occurred, it's important that we acknowledge it as a school and tell the children about it because it's a pivotal time in our nation and our community. It's an important lesson as we prepare students for life in the real world. The goal was to honor those who lost their lives 11 years ago, but at the same time to inspire hope for the future,” Maratita said.
According to PRTI Region Commander Col. Jon Takamura, “Yes, this is a national tragedy, where families and friends died. We are here to support them and to support our country at a time of great need.”
“Many children have parents, aunts, and uncles, or other family members who serve in the U.S. military. We have more parents and even teachers who are deploying and knowing that they're going to help ensure that no one else gets hurt is one way to help the students understand what is going on and make sense of the world around them,” added Takamura.
The ESFDB student caucus also joined other students in Hawaii, Japan, and Guam in their R.I.S.E. for Philippines campaign. The campaign is to solicit donations for the flood victims in the Philippines.
Monetary, canned goods, and clothing donations were accepted to help with the relief efforts for our kababayans suffering from this unfortunate tragedy. The campaign was similar to the R.I.S.E. for Japan in an effort to help the tsunami victims caused by the March 11, 2011, earthquake.
“I really want to help the people of my home country, the Philippines. I felt like I had to help," said ESFDB 7th grade student Loreville Clitar.
“I helped because it's the right thing to do,” added ESFDB 7th grade student Marnecia Hocog.
The PRTI management, staff, and student caucus continue to assess the needs of its members and their neighbors and will continue to provide aid to those in need.
The PRTI and students of the caucus would like to extend their appreciation to all those that helped the R.I.S.E. program in their campaign efforts. (SFC Ford T. Ebesugawa)