Sept. 12, 2013
Misty Volaski, email@example.com
If you passed by Villanova Preparatory School on Wednesday, you might have noticed a few American flags dotting the softball field — 2,977 flags, to be exact. Row after row were carefully placed by a group of local students and adults, each flag representing one of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
VPS junior Madeline Brock came up with the idea as a way to honor the memory of the victims. But this wasn’t a homework assignment, or extra credit. “I just wanted to do this,” Brock said simply. “We, as a community and as a country, must never forget those 2,977 innocent lives lost in the terrorist attack.”
“She took this on herself,” said headmaster Carol Hoffer, “completely on her own. She just did an amazing job or getting other students to participate, getting the whole campus (behind the idea).”
Brock said the concept stemmed from a conference she attended in Santa Barbara, which discussed Sept. 11. “I was really moved by a lot of the stories I heard,” she said. “I felt like this (project) would be a great way … to never forget all the lives that were lost.”
Brock raised money to purchase the flags, put together a presentation for school officials, and brought students and local community members together to help her idea come to fruition. She recruited 14 fellow students and nine friends and family members to set up the flags Wednesday morning, and by the middle of the day, word was already spreading on social media.
“Most teenagers feel they cant make a difference until they are adults,” said Brock, who hopes to be a large animal veterinarian one day. “I decided at age 16, I can make a change for the better. Everyone can make a difference by doing smalls actions, and this (flag memorial) is what I decided to do.”
Brock added that she hopes this will be an annual event for her school.
“This kind of thing is something we encourage Villanova students to do,” Hoffer said. “If you feel strongly about something, take action. Ideas are fine, but the important thing is acting upon your ideas. And Madeline is a perfect example of that.”