Harrisonburg High School students honor first responders ahead of 9/11 anniversary

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Harrisonburg High School students made several stops around the city Tuesday afternoon to drop off care packages to first responders to mark the 18th anniversary of 9/11.

The students, who were babies or not born yet when 9/11 happened, offered different answers when asked when they first started to learn about 9/11 in school. Elementary and middle school were the two main answers.

Members of the HOSA Future Health Professionals chapter at the school gave goodie baskets to members of the Harrisonburg Police Department, Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center and the Harrisonburg Fire Department.

"When people call the police, they just see the police," Sheila Escalante-Lopez, a senior at HHS and member of HOSA, said. "And they think that they're doing the job. But it's a whole network like the dispatcher, they tell the police where to go."

The students wanted to thank all first responders ahead of the anniversary of the tragedy on Wednesday.

"It's very humbling that students in our own community would think about us here at the fire department but also local first responders," Erin Stehle, public information officer for HFD, said.

The care package was part of the students' 9/11 Remembers project. The packages included cupcakes and other snacks, drink mixes, and handwritten thank you cards.