19 June 2006

Students in Flight

In memory of:
Bernard Curtis Brown, Sarah Clark, Asia Cottom, James Debeuneure, Rodney Dickens, James Joe Ferguson, Ann Judge, and  Hilda Taylor.

Imagine yourself as an eleven year old, a student in fifth or sixth grade, from DC.  You have been selected as one of three students in your area to travel to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, near Santa Barbara, California.  Imagine how wonderfully excited you would be to have this opportunity.

James Joe Ferguson, Director of the National Geographic Education Outreach Program, contacts John Fahey, Jr. (the President of the National Geographic Society) on Monday 10 September 2001 to verify some details regarding the educational trip.  Fahey knows that Ferguson has tried his best to make this perfect in every way.  The following morning, Ferguson meets Ann Judge, travel office manager for the National Geographic Society, at the airport.  She has been on several trips that she helped to coordinate for National Geographic and is looking forward to meeting these three children and their teachers that will be flying with them to California.

American Airlines Flight 77 would never land in California.  That morning, 11 September 01, it crashed into the Pentagon.  There were 64 people aboard.  Included were three students, age 11, who no longer would have soaring educational futures.

Asia Cottom, Backus Middle School student, was accompanied by her teacher, Sarah Clark, on this trip which was sponsored by the National Geographic Society.  Bernard Curtis Brown and Rodney Dickens were students at Leckie Elementary School, accompanied by teachers Hilda Taylor and James Debeuneure (he taught fifth grade at Ketchum Elementary).

Please show some compassion for the victims of 9/11.  Visit this site for more information.  Read about the individuals, see their pictures, place yourself in their shoes, and let this moment in history become real for you.

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