The Paly Voice

Students create 9/11 Memorial in Senior Courtyard

Micaela Wong

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Seniors Lauren Krieger, Suye Shen, and Yasmeen Gavande plant flags in the Senior Courtyard to honor the victims of 9/11. The memorial is meant as a symbol of remembrance, regardless of one’s political alignment. “Young America’s Foundation provided us with flags, but this is still a bipartisan event,” Gavande said. Photo: Micaela Wong

Students commemorated the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks today by placing thousands of American flags in the Palo Alto High School Senior Courtyard.  

The memorial, which was organized by senior Yasmeen Gavande, is meant to honor the victims of the nation’s largest terrorist attack. 

According to Gavande, who is the president of Paly’s Young America’s Foundation Club, students planted 2000 to 3000 flags to represent the lives lost. Through the memorial, she said she hopes students will remember the tragedy.

“A lot of people in our generation weren’t really born, so they might not really know what it [9/11] is about,” Gavande said. “This was important to me because it is important to remember our past so it is not repeated.”

Junior Jordan Lee said he appreciated having a 9/11 memorial on campus.

“It’s nice to show respect,” Lee said. “There are always going to be people who were there and experienced it and people who just hear about it from other people, but I think we try our best to understand and have the same respect for them [the victims] as people who were there.”

Although the flags were provided by YAF, a conservative group, Gavande said that the event was bipartisan. This marks the first time the club has created a memorial at Paly. However, similar monuments for remembrance are put up all across the US, according to Gavande.

Despite of the simple nature of the memorial, planning the event had challenges along the way, Gavande said. 

“Planning the event was not as simple … due to a policy where we are not allowed to memorialize individual people, after fear that it would glorify suicide,” Gavande said. “But with persistence, and too many trips to the office, I was … allowed.” 

The flags will remain the the Quad for a day or two, and then they will be taken down, Gavande said. 

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