Friday, September 14, 2018

"The Unsung Hero" by Chris Mortensen and Rhonda Schaar

The K-8 students and staff will take a moment to remember a day of tragedy and of unification of people around those who stood as heroes on September 11, 2001. We have heard it asked many times, “Where are all the heroes today?” We often consider the acts of people that occur randomly, and in the moment, to be our indicators as to whether a person is heroic or not. In this, I would not disagree, but I believe we can look more superficially to find those heroes as well. We may find that there are more heroic acts than we would let ourselves acknowledge. To us September 11, 2001 was one event that brought this truth to light for our community and country as a whole, yet it seems that, that was a distant memory. Spotting heroes can simply be a matter of looking beyond our own preconceived notions of what a hero could be.

We, as a society, often overlook the simple acts of heroism as simply, “the job.” They are often not looked at as heroes, because they accepted the role and are often paid to perform the duty. This simple act takes one from being looked at as a hero to just performing their job. Take a couple of examples in mind and think to yourself how we portray this to those around us: A Police Officer or Sheriff Officer, is this someone who puts their life on the line every time they approach a car or enter a building or are they seen as someone who writes tickets for not stopping at the stop sign completely or stopping us, because we were driving too fast. How about this, make sure you have your seatbelt on, there is a police officer. They are portrayed as something to fear rather than someone who protects and defends.

In looking back, I would like to believe that our portrayal of these actions is one that demonstrates the risk and honor that our local law enforcement, fire fighters and rescue services face daily. I would also say that in conversation with any of these service men and women, they do not see themselves as heroes, but doing what needs to be done. In taking a closer look, we know that heroes abound, and they are individuals willing to stand against the fray. This is the reason that we take time on September 11 to recognize the members of these organizations as well as those members of the armed forces who take on the responsibility of keeping us and our children safe.

We are proud to have the opportunity to share with our students in the K-8 facility just what it means to truly be a hero and to accept the risk of keeping each of them safe every day. On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, we will take a small moment of our day to share our admiration for those heroes and to acknowledge the friends, family and loved ones lost in the name of our safety and freedom. We do this to remind us all, of the dedication and courage that it takes to stand up for what is right. It is not free, and it certainly comes at a cost.

Our guest speaker to the students for the September 11 ceremony is retired Army Veteran and retired Sheriff’s Officer, Steve Stebbins. He is a past graduate of Greenville City School of the class of 1966, was wounded twice in the Vietnam War receiving two purple hearts and the bronze star. He was a member of the Sheriff’s department for 35 years before retiring. We are excited to have him as a speaker for our students regarding September 11 and our unsung heroes who are here for us in the surrounding local community.

Perhaps, ask your son or daughter about what they learned regarding the events of September 11 and the selfless acts of our dedicated service personnel who answer the call for us all. We feel it is an honor to keep these memory’s fresh for our community, to commemorate our heroes and to acknowledge their sacrifice in the name of freedom. We salute them all for their courage and dedication to public safety.


Chris Mortensen, Principal @ Greenville Middle School 7/8
Rhonda Schaar, Principal @ Greenville Middle School 5/6

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