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Published: Saturday, September 11, 2021
Patriotism is alive in Snohomish    Print 

Patriotism is alive in Snohomish and on display for everyone to see. The students at the Academy of Snohomish, a private school, have demonstrated their compassion with a tribute to those lost on 9/11.


The tribute was part of a national project in cooperation with the Young Americans for Freedom and Young Americans Foundation. Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) brings students together to advocate for individual freedom, free enterprise, a strong national defense, and traditional American values.


Blake Habersetzer the student chairperson for the schools 9/11 Never Forget Project committee told us the school had an assembly on Thursday that included 3rd thru 12th grade students and parents. A key speaker at the assembly was Lieutenant Colonel James (Jim) McKinney, a retired US Army Intelligence and Foreign Area Officer with over 30 years of service.


McKinney worked in strategic, tactical and special operations assignments around the globe. He served as the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché in Slovenia, the Deputy Chief of Combating Terrorism for US Pacific Command, and as the Security Assistance Officer for US Embassies in Albania and the Republic of Georgia, as well as with the NSA, NRO and other government agencies. He retired as a political-military Advisor to the Commander, US Army Central, in the Middle East.


McKinney talked about the importance and significance of democracy, the impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the most recent deaths of 13 service members in Afghanistan. His key talking point revolved around “Bravery of the Day”. He left them with one question; what will you do when you are called?


Nearly 120 students and parents attended the assembly that lasted about 30 minutes which was followed by the placement of the flag tribute. "So many people were helping set up the display that they ran out of room for everyone" Habersetzer said. “The outpouring of support from the community has been very inspiring for all of us” he said.


Vice Chair Morgan Denny said she was impacted by how many flags there were and that each one represented a life. "I can’t believe this happened" she said. Denny has family members that are in the military and she appreciates the bravery of the nation’s service members.


Principal Paulette Habersetzer told us how everyone at the school has learned a great deal of the sacrifice it has taken by so many to keep our nation free. "This was a lot of work and I am proud of our students for their dedication to this project. People are constantly stopping to admire the display of flags and take pictures" she said.
Habersetzer reiterated what McKinney said earlier, what will you do when you are called?


See the display at 330 Union Ave in Snohomish.


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